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
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.
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.
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
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
#65 ETSU 4, #32
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
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
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team and its student-athletes please visit www.ETSUBucs.com