JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2011) - The ETSU men's tennis team is ranked No. 51 in the nation according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason poll, the association recently announced. In addition, ETSU sophomore Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) is ranked No. 73 in the country in the individual rankings.
Head coach Yaser Zaatini and the Bucs earned a 16-8 record in 2010, while ETSU earned its fourth straight Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship. The Bucs also picked up their second ever NCAA victory after knocking off No. 32-ranked Alabama.
Bandres picked up the national preseason ranking after leading the team with a 9-6 mark in fall tournament play, while competing against some of the top players in the country. Bandres finished the 2010 spring season with a 10-8 mark that included a 6-2 record in Atlantic Sun Conference play.
Individually, sophomore Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) capped off an incredible season with the A-Sun Men's Tennis Player of the Year award. Gille finished the 2010 spring season with a 14-6 overall record and a perfect 10-0 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play. In addition, Gille was named the Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP after leading the Bucs to their fourth straight tournament crown.
Joining Gille on the all-conference team were Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia), Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden), and Daniel Isaza. Gille and Teraz earned First-Team All-Conference honors, while Akser and Isaza were named to the Second-Team. Isaza also joined Gille on the A-Sun All-Tournament Team. In addition, Bandres was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team.
Finally, Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France), who was fighting an injury through the season, earned a spot in the NCAA Singles Championship by finishing the regular season with an ITA ranking of No. 104. Bottoni became just the third player in ETSU history to earn a spot into the NCAA Singles Championship. All of those players with the exception of Isaza will be back this season for the Bucs.
Like they did a season ago ETSU should face one of the toughest schedules in the country this spring. Not one to shy away from elite competition, the Bucs open the season playing some of the top teams in the country. The Bucs will open the spring season on the road against last season's national runner up, the University of Tennessee on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m.
For more information on ETSU men's tennis please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.