Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 14, 2002) -- The No. 74-ranked East Tennessee State men's tennis team closed out the regular season on a positive note, defeating in-state rival Chattanooga, 5-2, Sunday afternoon from the ETSU Tennis Center in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Bucs won the doubles point after taking two out of three matches from the Mocs. The ETSU team of junior Marcos Pavlovich (Otamendi, Argentina) and senior Roberto Fernandez (Cuernavaca, Mexico) defeated Chattanooga's tandem of Jason Ontog and Tim Kutschera, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. Junior Pablo Sahagun (Cuernavaca, Mexico) and sophomore Alejandro Salazar (Arequipa, Mexico) of ETSU defeated Mocs James Dickerson and Fabian Bechara at No. 2 doubles, by an 8-5 score. ETSU sophomores Diego Iglesias (Mar del Plata, Argentina) and Moises Serrano (Bucaramanga, Colombia) fell to the UTC team of Kyle True and John Hangstefer at No. 3 doubles, 8-5.
East Tennessee State played well in their singles matches, taking four of the six contests. Salazar won the first singles point for ETSU, defeating Alex Mabred of Chattanooga in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. ETSU's second singles point came as Sahagun was victorious over Thomas Knizat of UTC, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 3 singles. The match was clinched when Fernandez, the ETSU senior captain playing in his final home match, defeated Hangstefer at No. 2 singles, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4. The final singles point for the Bucs came as Serrano came up a winner over UTC's Kutschera at No. 6 singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
"Roberto Fernandez's leadership over this last month has been very important to the team," said ETSU head coach Dave Mullins following the match. "He has won some big matches recently and his senior leadership was very big for the team today."
Chattanooga won two singles matches in Sunday's action. Chattanooga's Ontog won at No. 1 singles following an injury to ETSU's Pavlovich, 6-0, ret. Chattanooga's Bechara defeated Buccaneer Iglesias, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles for UTC's final point of the match.
"This was a total team effort today, just a great effort from everybody," said Mullins. "We were a little tired today, this was our 10th match in the last 15 days. We dug down deep and played well when we needed to. It is good to put a positive end on our regular season, now time to get some rest and get ready for the Southern Conference Tournament next weekend. We have earned a shot at winning the tournament, it would be a great ending for a great season."
ETSU runs their record to 14-7, 9-1 in Southern Conference matches. Chattanooga falls to 11-11, 8-2 in SoCon matches.
The Buccaneers will return to action when they will be the No. 2 seed in the Southern Conference Men's Tennis Championships, Apr. 18-20 from Charleston, S.C.
No. 1: Jason Ontog (UTC) def. Marcos Pavlovich (ETSU), 6-0, ret.
No. 2: Roberto Fernandez (ETSU) def. John Hangstefer (UTC), 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
No. 3: Pablo Sahagun (ETSU) def. Thomas Knizat (UTC), 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: Fabian Bechara (UTC) def. Diego Iglesias (ETSU), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5: Alejandro Salazar (ETSU) def. Alex Mabred (UTC), 6-2, 6-2
No. 6: Moises Serrano (ETSU) def. Tim Kutschera (UTC), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
No. 1: Pavlovich/Fernandez (ETSU) def. Ontog/Kutschera (UTC), 8-3
No. 2: Sahagun/Salazar (ETSU) def. James Dickerson/Bechara (UTC), 8-5
No. 3: Kyle True/Hangstefer def. Iglesias/Serrano (ETSU), 8-5
#74 East Tennessee State: 14-7, 9-1 Southern Conference
Chattanooga: 11-11, 8-2 SoCon