Buccaneers set to battle USC Upstate
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 28, 2013) – The No. 60 ETSU men’s tennis team will begin Atlantic Sun play a day earlier than originally scheduled, as the Buccaneers battle USC Upstate Friday inside the Upstate Tennis Complex at 2 p.m.
ETSU (4-4) and USC Upstate (4-5) were scheduled to open conference play Saturday at 1 p.m., before the change.
The Buccaneers enter the A-Sun slate on a two-match losing streak, but have gone up against some of the nation’s best. ETSU’s last outing was Monday where it came up short to then-No. 8 Georgia, 5-2, in Athens. Senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) highlighted the day with a win in the top singles match over No. 21 Nathan Pasha, earning Bandres A-Sun Player of the Week honors.
The other loss during the mini-streak was to Nebraska – currently ranked No. 40. The Buccaneers battled the Cornhuskers to a close contest, ultimately falling, 4-2. Again, Bandres stood out, defeating Nebraska’s top singles player, Andre Stenger, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The 2012 A-Sun Tournament MVP is 11-10 overall on the 2012-13 campaign, 5-2 dual, and rides a five-match winning streak.
Prior to dropping two straight, the Bucs defeated then-No. 60 Georgia State, 4-0, at the Bristol Racquet Club, Appalachian State, 6-1, on the road, and then-No. 71 UL-Lafayette, 4-2, at the ITA Kick-Off in Columbus, Ohio. ETSU is 2-3 versus nationally ranked opponents this season.
USC Upstate enters the matchup off a, 4-1, victory at home to Georgia Southern. The Spartans have yet to win back-to-back contests, but will have an opportunity to do so on their home courts.
Matthias Kidler has been the most consistent performer for the Spartans all season, posting a 6-3 mark in singles action with all contests coming at the No. 1 spot. Kidler has also tallied four wins in doubles action, two of which came in the top slot.
Last season, the Buccaneers concluded the regular season with a, 5-2, victory over the Spartans in Johnson City to finish the A-Sun season at a perfect 9-0. A week later, the two teams met again in the semifinals of the A-Sun Tournament Championship, with No. 1 ETSU rolling past the fifth-seeded Spartans, 4-0.
ETSU has won the last three meetings in the series history. USC Upstate’s last win came in the spring of 2010, 4-3, in Johnson City.
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