Bucs have dropped four of last five matches
DELAND and FT. MYERS, Fla. (March 27, 2013) – The ETSU men’s tennis team concludes the month of March in the state of Florida with Atlantic Sun matches against Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast.
ETSU (5-6, 1-1 A-Sun) and Stetson (13-1, 4-0 A-Sun) square off Thursday from the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center at noon. The Buccaneers then travel to Fort Myers on Saturday for an 11 a.m., showdown against FGCU (8-7, 3-1 A-Sun) from the FGCU Tennis Complex.
Entering the pair of road contests, ETSU has lost four of its last five matches, including a pair of 4-3 losses to conference-foe North Florida and Dartmouth last weekend in Johnson City. The Bucs opened the newly built ETSU Tennis Complex Friday, but suffered a defeat to the Ospreys to snap an 18-match A-Sun winning streak. The loss to the Big Green came the next day and put ETSU below .500 for the first time since January when it was 1-2.
Rogerio Ribeiro has not been fazed by the team’s recent mishaps. The sophomore carries a team-best, three-match winning streak into Thursday, defeating UNF’s Daniel Sotomarino, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-6) and Dartmouth’s Chirs Kipouras, 6-1, 6-3, last weekend. Ribeiro holds ETSU’s top singles record at 21-11 overall and is 6-4 in dual play.
Senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) will look to keep rolling. Despite a loss to Moritz Buerchner against UNF, Bandres has won seven of his last eight singles matches with all coming at the No. 1 slot. One of those wins came against then-No. 21 Nathan Pasha of Georgia, landing Bandres A-Sun Men’s Tennis Player of the Week honors. Bandres holds ETSU’s top dual record of 7-3.
Stetson will be a big test for the Buccaneers as the Hatters have lost just one match all season to No. 23 Drake. Prior to the loss, Stetson started the season 10-0, including a win in its season opener against then-No. 56 St. John’s. Last weekend, the Hatters went on the road and handled both Kennesaw State, 7-0, and Mercer, 5-2.
Simon Julin is undefeated at 13-0 during the spring season, including a 4-0 mark in A-Sun play. After starting 7-0 at the No. 4, Julin has moved up to play the No. 2 and No. 3 where he is 3-0 on each court. Julin has not lost a set the entire spring season. Didrik Berg is Stetson’s No. 1 singles player at 6-5 on the top court.
Florida Gulf Coast has won three of its last four matches and will play USC Upstate on Thursday before its Saturday battle with the Bucs. The Eagles made the trip to Georgia last weekend as well, defeating Kennesaw State, 6-1, but falling to Mercer, 4-3. FGCU’s other two conference matches came at home in wins against Lipscomb, 6-1 and Northern Kentucky, 7-0.
In its undefeated run through A-Sun play last year, ETSU defeated Stetson, 5-0, and FGCU, 7-0. Since joining the A-Sun, the Buccaneers are perfect against the two schools with a 7-0 mark against the Hatters and 5-0 record against the Eagles.
Live stats will be available for Thursday’s matchup with Stetson courtesy of GoHatters.com.
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