JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2017) – With over two weeks off from its trip to Los Angeles, the ETSU men’s tennis team will open its home schedule beginning this Friday as the Bucs host UAB followed by a second home match against Georgia State on Feb. 19.
About the Bucs
With over two weeks off from hitting the court, the ETSU men’s team is ready to get back to action. In the Bucs last match, ETSU pulled off the upset bid and avenged an NCAA Tournament loss in the first round against Virginia Tech in 2015. The Bucs pulled out the doubles point, but the Hokies came back quickly in singles competition as they took a narrow 3-2 lead over the Blue and Gold. Diego Nunez (Monterrey, Mexico) and Robert Herrera (Barcelona, Spain) sealed the win for the Bucs as they defeated their opponents in three sets.
ETSU is 1-3 this season after playing some stiff competition including No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 8 USC. However, Herrera has been a steady piece for the Bucs as he is 3-1 playing out of the No. 3 slot. He and his teammate Nunez are 2-2 in doubles play this season including going 1-1 against nationally ranked opponents.
In the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings, the Bucs placed three individuals in the national rankings: No. 69 Herrera, No. 88 David Biosca (Sant Fruitos de Bage, Spain) and No. 96 Nunez. Not only did ETSU place three individuals in the national rankings in singles, the team placed Herrera and Nunez at No. 59 in doubles play after they upset the No. 32 ranked doubles tandem in the country in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Blazers have started their season red hot as they are 4-0, but they will hit the road for their first trip as UAB comes to Johnson City on Friday. In UAB’s red hot start, the team has only surrendered just three points all season. The Blazers opened the year versus Lipscomb with a 6-1 win followed by a 5-2 victory over North Alabama, and just last weekend in Birmingham, Ala., UAB defeated Alabama-Huntsville in back-to-back matches 6-0 and 7-0.
Christian Coetzee leads the surge for UAB as he is 8-4 in singles play this season. He has played mainly out of the three and four slots including posting a 5-1 record in the No. 3 slot. In doubles play, Coetzaa/Donovan McSeveney had been one of the backbones for the Blazers in doubles tennis. Mostly playing No. 2, the duo has posted a 6-5 record including a 6-4 mark in the No. 2 position.
Scouting Georgia State
The Panthers have already played in 11 matches early in the season and are 6-5 on the year including 1-1 in Sun Belt Conference play. Georgia State opened the season well going 4-1 with its only loss coming to Vanderbilt in Nashville. However, the Panthers did upset No. 27 Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. 4-2, but following the upset bid, GSU went 3-5 with its most recent loss being South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.
Georgia State has one lone player in the most recent ITA singles rankings. Zackery Kennedy is ranked No. 84, which is just four slots ahead of ETSU’s Biosca. Kennedy is 6-4 in singles play and 3-5 in doubles competition. He has played mainly out of the No. 1 slot but has dropped to No. 2 in three matches this year. Andrei Andrukhou is 5-1 this season including a perfect 2-0 out of the No. 4 position for Georgia State.
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