ETSU breaks record for consecutive A-Sun Tournament titles; Grega Teraz named Tournament MVP
DeLAND, Fla. (April 16, 2011) - After watching the ETSU women's tennis team celebrate an A-Sun Tournament title earlier today, the ETSU men rallied from behind to defeat Stetson, 4-2, to earn their record fifth straight Atlantic Sun Tournament title, Saturday afternoon at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
ETSU (17-6) won its eighth consecutive match to earn the tournament title. The Bucs earned the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
"Our doubles teams are struggling big time, but I think the message was loud and clear in the end ," said ETSU Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini. "We can cry, we can pout, and we can moan, we can do whatever we want, but the bottom line is that we are down. I asked who is willing to give up a point and no one spoke, so I said I guess we are winning this thing. So we went out and took care of business."
With the Bucs up 3-2 and just two matches remaining, sophomore Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) rallied after trailing in the second set against Alexander Hackett to clinch the victory for the Bucs.
The beginning of the match looked very similar to yesterday's contest after doubles competition. ETSU started slow for the second straight day after dropping two of the three matches.
Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) picked up the early win for the Bucs as the duo defeated Maksim Levanovich and Didrick Berg, 8-5, at the No. 2 position. However, Stetson took the next two wins to clinch the crucial doubles point.
For the second straight day after trailing 1-0, the Bucs came out inspired in singles play by taking early leads in the majority of the matches.
One of those early leads belonged to Gille, who was playing at the No. 2 position for the Bucs. The early lead turned out to be very quick victory for the junior as he defeated Njal Stene, 6-0, 6-4, to even the match at 1-1. Gille earned Atlantic Sun All-Tournament honors after a perfect weekend in both singles and doubles.
The Bucs then took their first lead of the afternoon as freshman Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) continued his strong play as he defeated Hans Adrian Riseng, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 6 position.
Just moments later, the Bucs extended their lead as senior Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) rolled past Levanovich, 6-1, 6-0, at the No. 1 position to put ETSU up 3-1. After the match, Teraz was named A-Sun Tournament MVP for his strong play over the course of the weekend.
The Hatters then pulled to within one after Berg earned a three-set victory over Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France), 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, at the No. 4 position.
In the clinching match at the No. 5 spot, Ramirez edged Hackett in the opening set 7-6. Then, it was Hackett that got out to an early lead in the second set. Hackett increased his second set lead to 5-3, which looked like he would force a third set. However, Ramirez battled back to win the next four games to earn the victory for the Bucs. Ramirez was later named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team, joining Gille and Teraz.
"It is never easy against Stetson, because they are tough and they are hungry for a victory," said Zaatini. Everybody is kind of desperate to win and take one from us. The bottom line is that we don't want to give it up and we don't want to just look the other way. We have worked so hard over the years, we played a tough schedule, we put in the hours, and we do things the right way and the bottom line is that we don't want to make anyone's season. We wanted to show that we want it too and I don't think we are ready to give it up. It is tougher every year, but the tougher it gets, the better we have to get."
ETSU will learn its NCAA Tournament fate during the selection show set for Monday, May 3 at 5 p.m. Fan can watch the announcement on NCAA.com.
For more information on ETSU men's tennis 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 4, Stetson 2
Apr 16, 2011 at DeLand, Fla. (Mandy Stoll Tennis Center)
1. Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. Maksim Levanovich (Stet) 6-1, 6-0
2. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Njal Stene (Stet) 6-0, 6-4
3. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) vs. Cesare Gallo (Stet) 7-6, 2-6, 1-2, unfinished
4. Didrek Berg (Stet) def. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 7-6, 2-6, 6-2
5. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Alexander Hackett (Stet) 7-6, 7-5
6. Roger Ordeig (ETSU) def. Hans Adrian Riseng (Stet) 6-1, 6-1
1. Njal Stene/Chris Swanteson (Stet) def. Grega Teraz/Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 8-5
2. Sander Gille/Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Maksim Levanovich/Didrik Berg (Stet) 8-5
3. Alexander Hackett/Hans Adrian Riseng (Stet) def. Robin Akser/Juan Ramirez (ETSU), 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,6,1,4,5)
A-Sun All-Tournament Team
Grega Teraz - ETSU - Tournament MVP
Sander Gille - ETSU
Juan Ramirez - ETSU
Cesare Gallo - Stetson
Maksim Levanovich - Stetson
Moritz Buerchner - UNF