JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 27, 2015) - Going toe-to-toe with its seventh ranked opponent of the season, the ETSU men's tennis team upset No. 47 UNC Wilmington Friday in Johnson City, marking the Bucs' sixth win in their last seven matches.
The Buccaneers (7-7) showed great resolve from the onset of Friday's match, earning the doubles point with wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.
David Biosca (Sant Fruitos de Bage, Spain) and Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) defeated Christiaan Van der Burgh and Sam Williams at No. 1 Doubles, 8-2. ETSU's duo of Ismael Merino (Lima, Peru) and Robert Herrera (Barcelona, Spain) followed suit, taking the No. 2 spot, 8-4, to give the Bucs an early 1-0 match advantage.
With their win, Merino and Herrera extended their doubles win streak to a team-best seven matches.
Amidst chilly and overcast weather conditions, ETSU then picked up wins at No. 1, No. 5, and No. 6 Singles to clinch the 4-1 victory.
"They played to win," ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said. "You could see the competitiveness and fire in the way we fought throughout the whole match."
After Williams' win at No. 3 Singles pulled the Seahawks (9-5) even with the Bucs at 1-1, ETSU won the next three singles points, with Biosca, Herrera, and Merino earning victories.
"I think we lacked great tennis," Zaatini said. "The conditions didn't allow for that to develop, but I think we fought extremely well and the guys showed that we can beat some big time teams. UNC Wilmington is a very strong team. They have great tradition and are always well coached and solid all the way through. Any time we beat a team like that is a great measuring stick."
UNC Wilmington marked the Bucs' seventh nationally-ranked opponent of the season.
Since beginning the year 1-6 following a challenging non-conference slate featuring five ranked teams within ETSU's first seven matches, the Bucs have bounced back. ETSU has posted a 6-1 record since Feb. 14, with the lone loss coming on the road to fifth-ranked and six-time national champion Georgia.
"I knew we were deep and I knew we were solid," Zaatini said. "We just took a lot of beatings to start the season and we didn't come prepared enough in the early spring. We just had to bounce back, and we're doing that."
ETSU will look to continue its winning ways when the Bucs host SoCon opponent Samford Sunday, March 29 at 1:00 p.m., in Johnson City.
ETSU 4, #47 UNC Wilmington 1
1. David Biosca (ETSU) def. C. Van der Burgh (UNCW) 6-2, 6-2
2. Rogerio Ribeiro (ETSU) vs. Santtu Leskinen (UNCW) 6-3, 1-6, 3-0, unfinished
3. Sam Williams (UNCW) def. Sebastian Yllera (ETSU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Conner Huertas (ETSU) vs. Zach Hublitz (UNCW) 2-6, 6-4, 2-1, unfinished
5. Robert Herrera (ETSU) def. Andres Torres (UNCW) 6-2, 6-4
6. Ismael Merino (ETSU) def. Javier Restrepo (UNCW) 6-4, 6-4
1. David Biosca/Rogerio Ribeiro (ETSU) def. C. Van der Burgh/Sam Williams (UNCW) 8-2
2. Ismael Merino/Robert Herrera (ETSU) def. Santtu Leskinen/Xander Veys (UNCW) 8-4
3. Conner Huertas/Diego Nunez (ETSU) vs. Javier Restrepo/Taylor Cramer (UNCW) 6-5, unfinished
UNC Wilmington 9-5; National ranking #47
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (3,1,5,6)
Sunday, March 29 vs. Samford* - 1:00 p.m.
*Southern Conference match
ETSU's home matches will be played at the Buddy Hartsell Courts at the Dave Mullins Tennis Complex on the campus of ETSU. In the event of inclement weather, matches could be moved indoors to the Bristol Racquet & Fitness Club in Bristol, Tenn. Please follow the Bucs on the platforms listed below for updates regarding changes to playing sites, etc.
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