Bucs drop consolation match of ITA Kickoff Weekend
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2012) – The No. 58 ETSU men’s tennis team wrapped up its ITA Kickoff Weekend in Lexington, falling 4-0 to No. 57 North Carolina State in the consolation round.
“We’re just not match ready,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “I’m responsible for this because I don’t have them ready to play. We let go of too many chances, and leave too many unconverted opportunities on the table.
“I know we’re trying our hearts out, but we just cannot afford to squander every chance we have. Every time we’re up, the opponents turn the match around on us, and every time we’re behind, they’re able to close us out. We lose the matches when we’re ahead, and when the other team is ahead we can’t catch them. We’re climbing uphill and against the wind.”
The loss comes a day after ETSU (0-2) fell to No. 22 Tulsa 4-1 on day one of the four-team tournament, managing just one point from senior Jeremy Bonnevalle’s (Keerbergen, Belgium) victory at the No. 3 singles position. Saturday, the Bucs played in tighter matches with the Wolfpack but could not come away with any points.
NC State (5-1) got the day rolling when Robbie Mudge and Jamie Pulgar def. Bonnevalle and Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) 8-3 to put the Wolfpack up 1-0 for the doubles point. The Bucs fought back to even up the score as senior Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) def. Julian Sullivan and Sean Weber at the No. 1 doubles slot, 9-8 (4).
With the doubles point up for grabs, Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) entered a tiebreak at 8-8 with NC State’s Dominic Hodgson and Matt Thomson. In a close breaker, Ramirez and Varon fell 7-5 to award NC State the day’s first point.
Singles play started out well for the Wolfpack as well, taking the first set in three of the four matches on court. NC State then managed to take two matches in straight sets as Mudge def. Ramirez at the No. 3 6-3, 6-4, and Hodgson def. Bandres at the No. 2 6-0, 6-4.
Gille, the only Buccaneer to win his first set, went to a tiebreak in the second set with Pulgar at the No. 1 singles slot. The Belgian gave ETSU its first chance at a point, but dropped the tiebreak in a battle, 10-8. His third set went unfinished with the match score at 6-3, 6-7 (8), 3-4.
Ramirez, after dropping set one 6-1 to No. 100 Powell at the No. 4 singles position, went to a tiebreak and kept the Bucs hopes alive with a 7-6 (2) set victory. The Paraguayan ultimately fell to Powell in three sets, dropping the third by a score of 6-3.
ETSU continues its tough schedule next Thursday, Feb. 2, when it travels to Atlanta to take on current No. 69 Georgia State.
For more information on ETSU men’s tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s tennis links.