MACON, Ga. (April 2, 2011) - Following a strong performance against Kennesaw State yesterday, the ETSU men's tennis team finished the weekend with a perfect record after defeating Mercer, 6-1, Saturday afternoon in the final A-Sun regular season contest of the year. In addition, the victory earned the Bucs a share of the A-Sun regular season championship.
With the victory, the Bucs move to 15-6 on the season and 9-1 in the A-Sun, while Mercer falls to 7-11 and 4-5 in the A-Sun. ETSU has now won the A-Sun regular season crown in five of the last six seasons. The Bucs finished in a tie with UNF for the top spot in the league standings.
"Obviously none of the matches this year have been easy, because the conference has a lot of parity," said ETSU Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini. "Everybody thinks they can shoot us down and they are very close to doing that. We are struggling to win at several positions and there are a lot of three set matches where two or three years ago we were able to dominate and win easily, but nowadays it's a thing of the past."
The Bucs got off to a strong start in doubles play after earning victories in all three matches. Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) picked up the first win by knocking off Fernando Armendaris and Guilherme Frias, 8-4, at the No. 3 position. ETSU clinched the doubles point at the No. 1 spot as Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) defeated Peter Tauchner and Evandro Rosindo, 8-6. Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) closed out doubles play with a hard fought 9-8 win over Pierre Tafelski and David Barton at the No. 2 position.
ETSU kept the momentum rolling into singles play as Bandres earned a quick 6-0, 6-3 win over Tauchner at the No. 3 position, putting the Bucs up 2-0. Just minutes later, Bottoni extended the ETSU lead as he blanked Rosindo at the No. 4 position, 6-0, 6-0.
The Bucs clinched the match at the No. 1 position when Gille defeated Tafelski in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Ramirez and freshman Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) closed out singles play with tough three set victories. Ramirez defeated Armendaris, 6-7, 6-3, 10-5, while Varon edged Barton, 6-7, 6-3, 10-8.
"The guys need to understand that and they need to put in the work in the future in order for us to regain our position in the conference," said Zaatini. "The guys need to just work hard and prepare for the conference tournament."
The Bucs will take some time off before competing at the A-Sun Tournament in DeLand, Florida later this month. ETSU will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament due to tiebreaker rules.
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
ETSU 6, Mercer 1
1. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Pierre Tafelski (Mercer), 6-3, 6-1
2. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Fernando Armendaris (Mercer), 6-7, 6-3, 10-5
3. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Peter Tauchner (Mercer), 6-0, 6-3
4. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) def. Evandro Rosindo (Mercer), 6-0, 6-0
5. Guilherme Frias (Mercer) def. Roger Ordeig (ETSU), 3-6, 6-1, 10-8
6. Jorge Varon (ETSU) def. David Barton (Mercer), 6-7, 6-3, 10-8
1. Teraz and Bottoni (ETSU) def. Tauchner and Rosindo (Mercer), 8-6
2. Gille and Bandres (ETSU) def. Tafelski and Barton (Mercer), 9-8
3. Ramirez and Akser (ETSU) def. Armendaris and Frias (Mercer), 8-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2) Singles (3, 4, 1, 5, 6, 2)