No. 72 ETSU takes six-match streak into Nashville

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Men’s tennis to defend ranking against Lipscomb and Belmont

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 29, 2012) – Back in the Campell/ITA Men’s Team Rankings for the first time in five weeks, the ETSU men’s tennis team heads to Nashville, Tenn., for Atlantic Sun matches with Lipscomb and Belmont.

The Buccaneers make their first stop at the Huston-Marsh-Griffith Tennis Center on Friday to faceoff with Lipscomb, and wrap up the weekend on Saturday against Belmont at the Centennial Sportsplex. Both matches are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

ETSU (6-8, 4-0 A-Sun) heads into Friday on a six-match winning streak. Following consecutive 4-3 losses to then No. 38 Nebraska and MTSU in mid-February, the Bucs found themselves at 0-8 before beginning the winning streak on Feb. 25 with a 6-1 win against Appalachian State. Since then, ETSU has defeated Tennessee Tech, Jacksonville, North Florida, then-No. 71 Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast.

Three of ETSU’s four Atlantic Sun wins have come by way of a sweep. The Bucs started the conference season on the road by defeating Jacksonville, 7-0, and swept both Stetson and FGCU in last weekend’s home matches. Due to rain, the Stetson match finished at 5-0 with ETSU leading the two unfinished matches at No. 1 and No. 6 singles.

Leading the Buccaneers through last weekend’s victories was Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium). The senior went 2-0 at No. 2 singles to extend his winning streak to six, went 2-0 at No. 1 doubles and earned his second Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors of the season. Gille’s other recognition came the week of Feb. 15, as he joined former Buccaneer Grega Teraz and current teammate Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) as the three Bucs to earn multiple A-Sun Player of the Week honors in the same season.  

Lipscomb (6-7, 1-2 A-Sun) has had its last two conference matches decided by a single point. The Bison started A-Sun play with a 5-2 loss at Belmont and followed that with a 4-3 win at Mercer and a 4-3 loss to Kennesaw State.

Prior to the start of conference play, Lipscomb had won two-consecutive matches at home against Detroit and North Alabama. The Detroit victory came by way of another 4-3 result, while the Bison easily handled North Alabama, 7-0.

Belmont (6-9, 3-0 A-Sun) enters Friday as the only other undefeated team in A-Sun play. The Bruins began the conference season on March 17 in the win over Lipscomb, and earned a Georgia sweep last weekend with a 4-3 win against Mercer and a 6-1 defeat of Kennesaw State.

Henrique Norbiato has led Belmont through the spring season with an 11-4 dual record including a 3-0 mark in A-Sun action. Norbiato primarily plays at No. 2 singles, where he is 6-2, but also holds a 3-1 record at No. 3 and a 2-1 mark at No. 4. Fernando Mussolini is on the Bruins’ longest active winning streak, having won his last six matches at the No. 4 position.

Last year, ETSU swept Belmont 7-0 and defeated Lipscomb 6-1 at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center.

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