SEATTLE, Wash. (Feb. 6, 2010) - Even after winning the doubles point the ETSU men's tennis team could not outlast 61st-ranked Mississippi State Saturday night, as the Bulldogs stormed back for a 5-2 victory during opening-round action of the Great Northwest Shootout in Seattle, Washington.
With the win MSU improves to 3-3, while the 60th-ranked Bucs slipped to 2-3 on the young season.
After the ETSU junior doubles team of Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) defeated Mississippi State's George Copeland and Artem Illyushin 8-4, senior Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Colombia) and sophomore teammate Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) closed out the early point with a 9-8 victory over Louis Cant and Chris Doerr.
After Teraz - who is currently ranked 82nd by the ITA in singles - dropped 125th-ranked llyushin in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 ETSU couldn't hold off a furious Mississippi State comeback as the Bulldogs won the remaining five matches.
"We had the early momentum in doubles but our guys couldn't hold on to that energy in singles," said assistant coach Ricky Rojas. "Unfortunately we got ourselves in some long sets and our stamina wasn't where it needed to be. After playing Washington here yesterday Mississippi State was able to get into a good rhythm which showed as the match went on. Now we just need to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow's contest."
Despite losing five straight singles matches, the scores for ETSU were close as Bottoni, sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium), freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and Akser all played tough three-set contests.
ETSU will wrap up the Great Northwest Shootout with a 5 p.m. challenge tomorrow as they serve it up against host and 24th-ranked Washington.
#60 East Tennessee State 2, #61 Mississippi Stat 5
No. 1 - #82 Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. #125 Artem llyushin (MSU) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 - #42 George Coupland (MSU) def. #89 Charles Bottoni (ETSU) - 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
No. 3 - Louis Cant (MSU) def. Sander Gille (ETSU)- 6-7, 6-0, 6-4
No. 4 - Antonio Lastre (MSU) def. #51 Jesus Bandres (ETSU) - 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 - Chris Doeer (MSU) def. Robin Akser (ETSU) - 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
No. 6 - Daniel Sanchez (MSU) def. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) - 7-6, 6-2
No. 1 - Bottoni/Teraz (ETSU) def. Coupland/llyushin (MSU) - 8-4
No. 2 - Lastre/Sanchez (MSU) def. #52 Gille/Bandres (ETSU) - 8-5
No. 3 - Akser/Isaza (ETSU) def Cant/Doerr (MSU) - 9-8
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.