Bucs roll Alabama 4-2 for second NCAA win in school history
Bucs roll Alabama 4-2 for second NCAA win in school history
Saturday, May 15, 2010

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 15, 2010) - Despite losing the doubles point and second-seeded Alabama winning at the No. 1 singles position the ETSU men's tennis team wouldn't quit as the third-seeded Bucs won four of the remaining five singles contests to earn their second-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament Saturday, 4-2.


With the win ETSU improved to 16-7, while the Crimson Tide closed out their season at 13-14.


"First we have the utmost respect for Alabama," said head coach Yaser Zaatini. "They have a great program and coach (Billy) Pate does unbelievable job every year with his guys. But simply said it was an amazing honor for our team to beat a quality opponent with so much class."


As play got underway the 32nd-ranked Tide quickly got on the board first as Saketh Myneni and Ricky Doverspike defeated the ETSU junior team of Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) 8-4. Minutes later Alabama wrapped up its 1-0 lead as Jarryd Botha and Trey Walston outlasted sophomore Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) and senior Daniel Isaza (Medelllin, Colombia) at the No. 3 position 8-6.


"Alabama did a good job early, but I'm so impressed they we fought back after losing the doubles point," said Zaatini. "It was complete team effort from top-to-bottom as we started in singles. At every position our players battled from the start to win these matches. Their was absolutely no MVP today. Our guys were rooting for each other as each match was playing, supporting each other all the way to the end."


With Alabama up one, 104th-ranked Bottoni tied the contest at 1-1 for ETSU after the recent NCAA Singles qualifier defeated Botha at No. 3 6-4, 6-4.


Seconds later freshman Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) then gave the Bucs their first lead at 2-1 with a strong 6-3, 6-4 straight set win over Walston at the No. 6 position. 


Alabama then closed the gap tying the match on court one as 21st-ranked Myneni survived a close scare from Teraz. After taking the first set 6-2, the Crimson Tide senior finally won a tight second-set tiebreaker 7-6, (8-6) giving Alabama its final point of the day.


ETSU then got back the lead as Isaza rebounded from a 3-6 first-set loss, rolling in the final two frames 6-2, 6-3 over Alabama senior Houssam Yassine on court four.


With the Bucs lead at 3-2 all eyes then turned to court two as sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Alabama sophomore Ricky Doverspike were battling in the third set.


After Doverspike won three straight games to take the first set 6-2, Gille fought back with a late game break in the second set winning the frame 6-4. As play headed into the third set each competitor held serve through the first 11 games before the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year broke Doverspike at 6-5. Gille then closed out the win at 7-5 serving the ETSU into the record book.


"Everything is incredibly surreal," said Zaatini. "There are no words to describe the feeling we have right now. Everyone played ultra hard today, even in the one singles contest we lost I thought Grega had a great chance in the second set, but just couldn't close it out. When I think about us now winning two first-round matches in the last three years it just feels me with so much pride for our program. We try to get quality players at ETSU and today is one of those moments when our fans and community can share this excitement with these great student-atheltes we have competing at our school."


With its win ETSU will now face host and No. 2 overall seed Tennessee Sunday -- who topped Big South champion Winthrop 4-0. The Vols and Bucs are scheduled to get underway at 1p.m. tomorrow.


#65 ETSU 4, #32 Alabama 2

Singles competition
1. #21 Saketh Myneni (UA) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Ricky Doverspike (UA) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. #104 Charles Bottoni (ETSU) def. Jarryd Botha (UA) 6-4, 6-4
4. Daniel Isaza (ETSU) def. Houssam Yassine (UA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Michael Thompson (UA) vs. Robin Akser (ETSU) no result
6. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Trey Walston (UA) 6-3, 6-4


Doubles competition
1. Saketh Myneni/Ricky Doverspike (UA) def. Charles Bottoni/Grega Teraz (ETSU) 8-4
2. Ian Chadwell/Michael Thompson (UA) vs. Sander Gille/Jesus Bandres (ETSU) no result
3. Jarryd Botha/Trey Walston (UA) def. Robin Akser/Daniel Isaza (ETSU) 8-6


Match Notes:
Alabama 13-13; National ranking #32
East Tennessee State 15-7; National ranking #65

For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team and its student-athletes please visit www.ETSUBucs.com