Men’s tennis falls in NCAA First Round to fifth-seeded Buckeyes
COLUMBUS, Ohio. (May 12, 2012) – Facing a tough draw in the First Round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament, ETSU fell to No. 5 seed Ohio State, 4-0, on Saturday at the Buckeyes’ home Varsity Tennis Courts.
ETSU (14-9, 9-0 A-Sun) witnesses its season come to an end for a second-consecutive year in Columbus, Ohio. In last year’s tournament, the Buccaneers fell to Notre Dame, 4-3. The Bucs also traveled to Columbus for the 2008 Tournament, where they defeated Notre Dame, 4-2, before falling to Ohio State in the Second Round, 4-0.
Ohio State (32-3, 11-0 Big Ten) moves on to Sunday for a meeting with Notre Dame. The Irish opened up the Columbus regional at 10 a.m. by defeating Vanderbilt, 4-3, to earn their advancement into the Second Round.
"We fought hard. We were outplayed in a couple positions, but certainly not overmatched," Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. "I hope the returners learn from this and come back prepared for the challenges we'll face next year. I'm also very proud and thankful of our seniors."
The Buckeyes began the afternoon session by taking the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches to earn the first point.
The nationally ranked No. 32 pairing of Devin McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen gave Ohio State the advantage, taking down ETSU senior Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) and junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) 8-3 at No. 2. Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith clinched the point at No. 3, defeating A-Sun Championship MVP Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and freshman Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 8-4.
The Bucs’ top duo of seniors Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) had their match left unfinished against the nation’s No. 1 ranked pair of Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola. OSU was leading the set 6-4.
With the doubles point in hand, Ohio State carried its momentum into singles by winning the first set in all six matches.
Rola – the ITA’s No. 9 ranked singles player – put the first point away by defeating Gille in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Minutes later, No. 67 Kobelt put OSU up 3-0 in the match by defeating Ramirez 6-4, 6-2.
Bandres fought to take his second set against No. 10 Buchanan on court one by a score of 6-3, extending ETSU’s postseason life. It was not enough though, as only a point away from advancing to the Second Round, No. 85 McCarthy ended Ribeiro’s team-leading 12-match winning streak and sent the Buckeyes through 6-3, 6-3.
Bandres, Bonnevalle and Ordeig were forced to leave their matches unfinished at No. 1, 4 and 6, respectively. Bonnevalle led his second set against Van Engelen 5-4 after dropping the first 6-3, and Ordeig trailed Callahan 6-4, 4-1. Bandres had just entered his third set with Buchanan.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.