Olivares advances to Round of 32 with win over Cojanu, 7-5, 6-1
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TULSA, Okla. (May 21, 2008) - To be selected as one of the top 64 players in the country and compete at the NCAA men's singles championships is quite an honor; however, to become only the second player in school history to win a match and advance to the field of 32 is a much bigger accomplishment.


On Wednesday afternoon junior Enrique Olivares (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) joined the elite club in ETSU men's tennis history by knocking off Alexandru Cojanu (William and Mary), 7-5, 6-1, in the first round of the singles championships from the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, hosted by University of Tulsa.


"It was great to see Enrique shine on the court," commented head coach Yaser Zaatini, who was the first Buccaneer men's tennis player to win at the singles championships. "Ever since Enrique has arrived on campus he has worked hard both on the court and in the classroom, so I am very proud of his accomplishment today."


Olivares, the nation's 57th ranked player, battled with Cajanu (ranked No. 109) in the first set; however, with things evened at 5-5, the Venezuelan native broke and took the all-important 6-5 advantage. From there, Olivares managed to keep his game intact and went on to win the first set, 7-5.


The junior business major carried the momentum over into the second set as he jumped out to a quick 3-0 advantage. With Olivares holding a convincing lead, he was able to finish the set, 6-1, and move on to Thursday's second round.


Despite being the lone Buccaneer player in Tulsa, Olivares is getting a lot of support from his teammates.  


"Enrique has been getting phone calls and messages from his teammates since we arrived in Tulsa," added Zaatini. "It is great to have the team showing a lot of support and these influences have been a huge help."


The 2007-08 men's tennis team has assembled itself in such a way that Zaatini has learned a lot from them as the season progressed.


"This year's group has shown me what a true team is really made of based on what they have accomplished both on and off the court. The support for Enrique really speaks volumes for how they respect each other. I have really learned a lot from these players."


With the singles win, Olivares became the first Buccaneer player to win a match in the championships since coach Zaatini won a pair of matches in the 1993 championships.


Olivares now awaits his opponent as he faces the winner of Ruben Gonzales (Illinois)/Nate Schnugg (Georgia) - which is currently in progress - in the round of 32 on Thursday. Times for Thursday's play have yet to be determined.


For updated information and live scoring of the 2008 men's singles championships, visit http://tulsahurricane.cstv.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/tennis-central-menssingsbracket.html.


Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more news on Buccaneer tennis and all other athletic items.