Bucs' comeback falls just short at No. 20 Louisville
Thursday, January 21, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2010) -  Despite an incredible effort by the 62nd-ranked ETSU men's tennis team the hard fighting Bucs feel just short in their dual match opener as No. 20 Louisville edged past head coach Yaser Zaatini's club 4-3 Thursday evening inside the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


With the win the host Cardinals improved to 3-0, while ETSU fell to 0-1.


"It's a horrible feeling to see our guys battle back like they did and fall by a single point," said Zaatini. "You never like to lose or even lose in a heartbreaking fashion, but one thing I'll say about these guys is that I'm extremely proud of the determination and spirit they gave in coming back. If this attitude is any indication of how our season is going to play out, then I'm extremely excited about where this team is heading."


The Cardinals opened play strong winning the top two doubles matches for the early 1-0 lead. ETSU's lone team victory came as sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium), and freshman Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela), stayed on a roll with their fourth straight win this week.  The No. 52 ETSU duo outlasted Louisville's Auesten Childs and Chidi Gabreil, 9-8 (10-8).


As singles action got underway Louisville continued its strong play at the No. 1 position, as 46th-ranked Childs outlasted a long three-set match against 89th-ranked ETSU junior Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillame, France), 6-2, 4-6, 6-2. The Cardinals then extend their advantage to 3-0 as ETSU freshman Juan Ramierz (Asuncion, Paraguay), could not overcome the fast start by Louisville junior Robert Hall falling 7-6, 6-1.


Just when it looked like Louisville would run away ETSU responded with its own offensive rally.


Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden), got the Bucs scoring underway with a quick 6-4, 7-6 win over Alejandro Calligari. Minutes later, Gille added to the ETSU total by earning the Bucs first ranked singles win of the season with a strong 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over 81st-ranked Andrew Carter.


ETSU contiuned its comeback as 51st-ranked Bandres rolled past Viktor Maksimcuk in three sets, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6. With the contest knotted at 3-3, all eyes then turned to Court Two for the deciding match between Buc junior - and 82nd ranked - Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia), and Louisville's 84th-ranked Simon Childs.


After Childs took the first set 6-4, Teraz stayed tough by winning the second 7-5. With the match on the line both players held serve through the first eight games of the final frame, before Childs broke Teraz at 5-4. The Louisville junior then served out the final game at 6-4 giving the Cardinals the one point victory.


"Tonight I saw everyone working as hard as they could on every court," said Zaatini. "This comeback tonight was a tribute to the grit inside each one of our players after we got down early. "


ETSU will now look to even its dual match record as the Bucs return to action for a 10.30 a.m., contest Saturday at in-state rival No. 5 Tennessee.


20 Louisville 4 - #62 East Tennessee State 3
January 21, 2010 - Bass-Rudd Tennis Center

1 - #46 Austen Childs (UL) d. #89 Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
2 - #84 Simon Childs (UL) d. #82 Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
3 - #51 Jesus Bandres (ETSU) d. Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) 6-2, 2-6, 7-6
4 - Sander Gille (ETSU) d. #81 Andrew Carter (UL) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
5 - Robin Akser (ETSU) d. Alejandro Calligari (UL) 6-4, 7-6
6 - Robert Hall (UL) d. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 7-6, 6-1

1 - S. Childs/Maksimcuk (UL) d. Bottoni/Teraz (ETSU) 8-4
2 - #33 Calligari/Hall (UL) d. Akser/Isaza (ETSU) 8-4
3 - #52 Bandres/Gille (ETSU) d. A. Childs/Chidi Gabriel (UL) 9-8


For more information on the reigning four-time Atlantic Sun Conference champion men's tennis team, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.