Zaatini named A-Sun Coach of the Year; men’s tennis earns six All-Conference selections
Zaatini (above) earned his third A-Sun Coach of the Year award.
Zaatini named A-Sun Coach of the Year; men’s tennis earns six All-Conference selections
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gille, Bandres, Ramirez, Bonnevalle, Ribeiro, Ordeig swarm postseason lists

MACON, Ga. (April 19, 2012) – Finishing the season with a 9-0 A-Sun record – its fifth undefeated conference season since joining the league in 2006 – and earning the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s A-Sun Championships, the ETSU men’s tennis team bombarded the conference’s postseason honors and awards lists by earning six All-Conference selections with Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini being named Coach of the Year. 

Zaatini’s Coach of the Year award is his third overall and first since coaching the Buccaneers to their undefeated, 9-0, conference season in 2009. The two-time All-American’s other Coach of the Year award came in 2008 when ETSU went 10-0 in league action and earned a 4-2 win against then-No. 26 Notre dame in that season’s NCAA Tournament.

ETSU’s six All-Conference picks consist of senior Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) earning First Team honors, while junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay), senior Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium), freshman Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) making the Second Team Singles list. The Bucs’ doubles teams of Ramirez and Bonnevalle, as well as Bandres and Ribeiro were also named Second Team Doubles All-Conference. Ribeiro rounded out the honors by also making the All-Freshman Team as a unanimous selection.

The A-Sun also released its first ever Academic All-Conference selections for men’s tennis, with Gille and Bonnevalle earning two spots on the eight-man squad. Along with their athletic accomplishments, Gille and Bonnevalle both major in management and carry GPAs above 3.90.

Gille’s All-Conference selection is the fourth of his collegiate career. In his 2009 freshman campaign, Gille was named to the A-Sun’s All-Freshman Team. The next two seasons, he was selected First Team All-Conference – including a Player of the Year award in 2010 – making this year his third-consecutive season as a First Team pick. The senior ended the regular season with a 19-9 overall record, going 13-6 through spring dual play and 8-1 in A-Sun action.

Bandres makes his third appearance in the All-Conference books and second on the league’s First Team. The junior was named to the All-Freshman Team in 2010, and followed that up by earning a First Team selection during last year’s A-Sun title run. This year, Bandres earned his First Team pick by going 6-2 through A-Sun play with the majority of his matches coming at No. 2 singles.

Ramirez lands on the All-Conference list for the first time in his ETSU career. The junior played all 17 of his dual matches at the No. 3 position, going 11-6 and ending the season on a nine-match winning streak. The Asuncion, Paraguay native was also one of two Buccaneers to go undefeated in conference play, boasting an A-Sun singles record of 7-0.

Bonnevalle also makes his first appearance as a member of the All-Conference Team. The senior ended the regular season with the most singles wins of his collegiate career, going 18-11 overall, 12-6 dual, and 8-1 in the A-Sun. He also won 11-consecutive singles matches from Feb. 18-April 7, including a victory over then-No. 71 Stetson’s Hans Adrian Riseng in the No. 4 match, 6-2, 6-1, as part of ETSU’s 5-0 defeat of the Hatters on March 23.  

Ribeiro’s Second Team and All-Freshman Team honors extend ETSU’s mark of seven-consecutive seasons with an All-Freshman student-athlete. In his first season with the Bucs, Ribeiro hit the 20-win mark by completing the regular season with an overall record of 20-8. The newcomer began the spring season 0-1, but has since reeled off 11-consecutive singles matches as he currently holds the team-lead in consecutive victories and completes the regular season with a perfect 9-0 A-Sun record.

Ordeig makes his second mark in the All-Conference record books after being named to the All-Freshman Team last season. The sophomore’s Second Team selection this year comes off a season in which he is currently 17-9 overall, 9-3 dual, while going 7-1 through A-Sun play. Ordeig spent most of his time in the No. 6 slot, where he boasted a 7-1 record, as he is currently on a seven-match winning streak.

Stetson’s Maksim Levanovich was named A-Sun Player of the Year and Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Florida Gulf Coast’s Tianya Bao was named Freshman of the Year.

ETSU now moves ahead to the 2012 Atlantic Sun Championships as the top seed, and will play in Saturday’s semifinal against the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 Lipscomb and No. 5 USC Upstate. First serve at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center on Saturday is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit and click on the tennis links.