Bucs fight through singles play, bitten by doubles point
LINCOLN, Neb. (Feb. 12, 2012) – The No. 74 ETSU men’s tennis team played its closest match of the year on Sunday night, but fell just shy of pulling out an upset against No. 38 Nebraska in a 4-3 defeat at the Nebraska Tennis Center.
“It was kind of a shadow of our old selves, unfortunately we just didn’t win,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We managed to stay competitive and work at a better level. Hopefully, after a good fight like this, we can come out next weekend with a spark and get one.”
With the score at 3-3, the match came down to the No. 6 singles point between ETSU (0-7) sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) and Nebraska’s (4-2) Eric Sock. The two split a pair of sets, with Ordeig taking the first in a tiebreak, to bring the match down to a deciding third set. In the third, Sock prevailed for the Huskers 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 to give Nebraska their second victory of the day after defeating Creighton 6-1 earlier.
The match didn’t exactly start out to ETSU’s liking, as the Bucs stumbled through doubles play and dropped all three matches. Venezuelans Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) found an early exit with a quick 8-1 loss to Nebraska’s Robert Schulze and Andre Stanger, before Chris Aumueller and Benedikt Lindheim clinched the point with an 8-6 victory over Gille and Ramirez at No. 1 doubles. The Bucs have now dropped the doubles point in all seven of its matches this year.
ETSU came out like a different team in singles play, taking the first set in five of the six matches including at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Gille, playing at the No. 1 spot, closed out his match in the second set with a 6-3, 6-0 victory against No. 78 Benedikt Lindheim to draw ETSU back even at 1-1. The win improved Gille’s record to 8-7 overall, 2-4 in dual play, and was the senior’s first over a ranked individual since defeating Tennessee’s then-No. 36 Boris Conkic 6-4, 6-1 in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
After Bandres fell to No. 41 Chris Aumueller, ETSU nearly found itself in a 3-1 hole with junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) down 5-2 in the third set to Andre Stenger. A game away from defeat, Ramirez rallied to reel off five-consecutive games, including a match point at 5-3 down, and defeat Stenger 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 at the No. 3. In doing so, Ramirez improved his singles record to 8-11, 2-5 in dual match play, and evened the match at 2-2
Varon was the next to finish, but could not put ETSU ahead in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 defeat at the No. 4 position to Stefan Gollner. The sophomore led 4-2 in the third set, but dropped his serve and gave Gollner momentum to rally and put Nebraska back on top 3-2
With ETSU staring down a seventh-consecutive loss, freshman Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had a chance to put away Robert Schulze in two sets, but dropped the second to keep the Huskers in front 3-2. Up 5-3 in the third set, with another chance to put ETSU within a point of its first victory, Ribeiro rebounded to finally seal the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The match wound up in the hands of Ordeig and Sock, with Sock finishing off the match for Nebraska.
ETSU gets back to action on Saturday, Feb. 18, traveling to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to take on MTSU at 2 p.m.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.Complete Results