No. 72 ETSU set for ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Columbus

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bucs begin play against No. 4 Ohio State

COLUMBUS, Ohio. (Jan. 25, 2013) – Riding its first victory of the season, the No. 72 ETSU men’s tennis team heads to the Varsity Tennis Center in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday to compete in the 2013 ITA Kick-off Weekend, beginning play against No. 4 Ohio State at 10 a.m.

Sixty schools will be competing over the weekend at 15 different sites as part of the ITA’s fifth annual Kick-Off. The team that comes away 2-0 at each site will earn a spot at the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship, hosted in February by the University of Washington.

ETSU (1-1) begins that journey as the No. 4 seed in Columbus, hoping to upset the host and top seed, Ohio State (4-0). The Buccaneers are very familiar with the Buckeyes, having just squared off last May in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That matchup went to OSU, 4-0, ending the Buccaneers’ 14-match winning streak and postseason run. Ohio State won at No. 2 and No. 3 in doubles to take the match’s first point, followed by straight-set victories on courts two, three and five to seal the victory. Current senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) saw the only success, winning his second set against then-No. 10 Chase Buchanan, 6-3.

With lineups submitted, Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini will play Bandres at the top spot in singles against Blaz Rola of Ohio State. On court two, sophomore Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) is expected to play the top-ranked singles player in the country, Peter Kobelt. Looking down the rest of the lineup, junior Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) takes on Ille Van Engelen; senior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) will play Devin McCarthy; junior Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) is set to face Ralf Steinbach; finally, Ricardo Pabon (Bogota, Columbia) is up against the No. 13-ranked singles player, Connor Smith. All matchups are subject to change.

The Bucs are 0-5 against OSU lifetime. The series began in the 1982-83 season, in which Ohio State won, 9-0. The two sides next met in the 1986-87 season opener, followed by another meeting later in the same year. Twenty-one years went by before the two teams next met in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, with the most recent meeting coming last May.

Depending on Friday’s results, ETSU will take on either No. 64 Miami (FL) (1-1) or No. 71 UL Lafayette (0-0). Miami and ULL play each other Friday, with the winner moving on to play the victor of ETSU and Ohio State for a spot in the ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship. The other two teams will compete against each other in a consolation match.

Live results for all of this weekend’s matchups in Columbus will be provided by

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Nov 19 ETSU 70
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Nov 21 Saint Francis University 63
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Dec 3, 5:00 p.m. George Mason University
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