ETSU extends winning streak to nine with rain-shortened win
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 3, 2012) – The ETSU men’s tennis team won its ninth-consecutive match on Tuesday by defeating Radford, 4-0, in a contest affected by rain which started at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center and concluded at the Bristol Racquet Club.
ETSU (9-8, 6-0 A-Sun) clinched the victory when senior Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) finished off Nicholas Sayer 6-2, 6-4, earning the Belgian senior his ninth singles victory in a row and becoming just the second player this season to down Sayer (13-2), who had won 13 matches in a row before Tuesday night. Gille led Sayer 6-2, 5-4, with ETSU ahead in the match 3-0, before thunderstorms caused the remainder of the dual to be moved to Bristol, Tenn., in favor of the indoor courts at the Bristol Racquet Club.
Radford (13-4, 5-0 Big South) saw its six-match winning streak come to an end on a day in which it reentered the Campbell/ITA Men’s Team Rankings at No. 73. The loss is also the Highlanders’ first this season against an unranked squad, as ETSU dropped out of the ITA’s top 75 in Tuesday’s rankings even though the Buccaneers did not drop a single point in their two matches last week.
“I saw a very solid Buccaneer team today,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We played well in doubles and took the momentum into singles.
“Radford is a very solid, ranked team and I knew we had our hands full coming in. The score does not represent the true toughness of the match.”
In doubles play, Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) got ETSU the early advantage with an 8-3 win at the No. 3 against Randall Carter and Joe Mills. The next match to end sealed the doubles point for the Bucs, as Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) and Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) defeated Igor Ogrizek and Stijn Meulemans at No. 2, 8-6.
Gille and fellow classmate Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) dropped the No. 1 match, 9-8, to Sayer and Thomas Dehaen, but ETSU still earned the doubles point and took the 1-0 lead into singles action.
Bandres got singles play rolling with his fourth straight victory by defeating Ogrizek 6-1, 6-1. Sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) then gave the Bucs a commanding 3-0 lead by taking down Carter in straight sets 6-4, 6-0.
With Gille a mere two points away from winning the match -- at 30-all and leading the second set 5-4 – thunder and lightning followed by heavy amounts of rain forced the match to be moved to Bristol, Tenn., where Gille ended the ordeal to put ETSU above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Ramirez, Bonnevalle and Ribeiro all left their respective matches unfinished after ETSU clinched the match.
ETSU returns to Atlantic Sun action on Friday when Mercer visits the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center. First serve is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.