No. 57 BUCS MAKE IT A THREE-PEAT! ETSU rolls to its third straight A-Sun title
Freshman Robin Akser celebrates after clinching ETSU's third title
Freshman Robin Akser celebrates after clinching ETSU's third title

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Olivares earns a record third MVP award

 

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 18, 2009) - It wasn't easy, but the No. 57-ranked ETSU men's tennis team simply got it done again, winning a record third straight Atlantic Sun Conference title over league rival Stetson 4-2, Saturday, at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center in Johnson City, Tenn.

 

After tournament MVP Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), fellow senior Alex Ahlgren (Tyreso, Sweden) and all-tournament honoree Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) closed out their singles matches all eyes turned to court five as freshman Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) battled in his second-set against Cesare Gallo. After the Buc all-tournament member took the first frame, Akser battle point-for-point with Gallo. After back-to-back duece points and a close ETSU's first advantage point being called out on the baseline, Akser would put Gallo away, crushing a forehand cross court for the match and championship.

 

After dropping its first doubles point of the conference season ETSU responded as both Olivares and Ahlgren jumped out to quick first set wins at No. 1 and No. 5. Olivares, the now three-time A-Sun MVP and  two-time Player of the Year, rolled past Stetson's Fillip Kricka 6-0, while Ahlgren opened by taking the first frame 6-3 over Gokay Celik.

 

Just as it looked like ETSU was getting back on track, Stetson kept fighting, as Maksim Levanovich battled game-for-game at No. 3 with sophomore Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) and the Hatters' Njal Stene took the first set at No. 4 singles against junior Daniel Isaza (Medellin, Columbia).

 

Meanwhile with both Akser and Gille locked up with Mark Mestan and Gallo late in the first set, Fillip Kricka rallied back against Olivares on court one taking the second-set tiebreaker 7-6 (7-4). Even with Stetson still hanging tough at No. 1, the Bucs depth was starting to show, wearing down the Hatters at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6.

 

After Gille closed out his first set with Mestan 6-4 and Akser took control with a strong 6-3, opening set win, senior captain Alex Ahlgren continued to inch closer to his victory taking a commanding 4-1 lead midway through his second set.

 

Then with the momentum building and a record-breaking crowd around to watch history in the making, No. 13-ranked Olivares responded in a big way. After splitting with first-team all-conference member Kricka the first two sets, Olivares regained his shot making ability breezing through the final set 6-0.

 

With ETSU now on the board fellow captain Alex Ahlgren added to the Buc advantage closing out his final set 6-2. As the electric atmosphere built Sander Gillie founded his rhythm blowing past Mestan in the final frame 6-2, stretching the Buccaneer lead to 3-1.

 

Stetson's last hope came as Levanovich closed out Teraz at No. 3, 6-2, setting up Akser's unbelievable win at No. 5.

 

With the victory the Bucs become the first A-Sun team to earn three consecutive titles since UCF won three-straight from 2003-2005. Also with the ETSU women's tennis team winning earlier in the day, ETSU becomes the first A-Sun school since FIU in 1994 to claim both the men's and women's championships in the same season.

 

ETSU will now wait for the NCAA's 2009 Selection Show which will take place live Tuesday, April 28th on ESPNNews. Both the single and doubles selections will be released a day later on Wednesday, April 29th through the NCAA website.

 

Attached above our quotes from both head coach Yaser Zaatini and tournament MVP Enrique Olivares. Below are both the 2009 A-Sun All-Tournament team and final scores from today's match between ETSU and Stetson.

 

All-Tournament Team

Filip Kricka, Stetson

Mark Mestan, Stetson

Maksim Levanovich, Stetson

Robin Akser, ETSU

Sander Gille, ETSU

Enrique Olivares, ETSU

Most Valuable Player 

Enrique Olivares, ETSU

 

Results

ETSU vs. Stetson

Singles

1. #13 Enrique Olivares (ETSU) def. Filip Kricka (STET) 6-0, 6-7(4-7), 6-0

2. Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Mark Mestan (STET) 6-4, 6-2

3. Maksim Levanovich (STET) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2

4. Njal Stene (STET) vs. Daniel Isaza (ETSU) no result

5. Robin Akser (ETSU) def. Cesare Gallo (STET) 6-3, 6-4

6. Alex Ahlgren (ETSU) def. Gokay Celik (STET) 6-3, 6-2

Doubles competition

1. #63 Alex Ahlgren/Enrique Olivares (ETSU) def. Njal Stene/Chris Swanteson (STET) 8-4

2. Filip Kricka/Mark Mestan (STET) def. Grega Teraz/Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 9-8 (7-4)

3. Maksim Levanovich/Cesare Gallo (STET) def. Robin Akser/Daniel Isaza (ETSU) 8-5

 

Match Notes:

ETSU wins third straight A-Sun title

Doubles (1,3,2)

Singles (1,6,3,2,5)

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