SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 26, 2011) - The No. 50 ETSU men's tennis team opened up Atlantic Sun Conference play with a tough 4-3 victory over USC Upstate, Saturday afternoon at the Upstate Tennis Complex.
With the victory, ETSU has now won three straight matches and evened up its overall record to 4-4 on the season. USC Upstate falls to 3-9 overall on the season and 0-1 in A-Sun play. The Bucs have now won all six of their A-Sun openers since joining the league in 2005-06.
"First of all, this was an incredibly exciting match," said ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini. "It was a blood, sweat, and tears type of match where everyone laid it all on the line. Upstate lost their No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 from last year, but they have a couple of very good freshmen. Everyone really competed hard and we were very fortunate to pull it out."
ETSU seized control of all three doubles matches to jump out to the early 1-0 lead. The Bucs picked up a tough win at No. 1 doubles as Charles Bottoni (Bois Guillaume, France) and Grega Teraz (Mojstrana, Slovenia) downed Ramiro Blanco and Matias Di Pasquale, 8-7. Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) and Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) knocked off Gianluca Paino and Marco Linconir, 8-3, at the No. 3 position. The Bucs earned the clean sweep as the duo of Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) rolled past Gonzalo Blanco and Edgar Rodriguez, 8-3.
In singles play, the Bucs jumped out to early leads and got a couple quick victories, but the Spartans would not go away without a fight.
Freshman Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) picked up his first career dual singles victory as he quickly defeated Gianluca Paino, 6-0, 6-1. The Bucs looked to be in complete control after Ramirez defeated Marco Linconir, 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 5 position. However, with the Bucs needing just one more victory to clinch the match, the Spartans started to gain some momentum.
USC Upstate picked up victories at the No.1, No. 3, and No. 4 positions to tie the match up at 3-3. The final match in progress was at the No. 2 position. After winning the opening set against Ramiro Blanco, ETSU sophomore and No. 112-ranked Bandres dropped the second set to force a pivotal third set. Blanco got out on top and was serving for the match, but Bandres won an exciting point to extend the match. From there, Bandres gained the momentum and took the final set, 7-5, to give the Bucs the victory.
The Bucs return to action on Saturday, Mar. 4 as they travel to Jacksonville, Fla. to take on North Florida. The match will begin at 2 p.m.
For more information on the ETSU men's tennis team please go to ETSUBucs.com and click on the men's tennis link. Also, be sure to follow ETSU Athletics on Facebook and Twitter.
#50 ETSU 4, USC Upstate 3
Feb 26, 2011 at Spartanburg, S.C.
1. Edgar Rodriguez (Upst) def. Sander Gille (ETSU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
2. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Ramiro Blanco (Upst) 7-5, 2-6, 7-5
3. Gonzalo Blanco (Upst) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Matias Di Pasquale (Upst) def. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
5. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Marco Linconir (Upst) 6-2, 6-4
6. Roger Ordeig (ETSU) def. Gianluca Paino (Upst) 6-0, 6-1
1. Charles Bottoni/Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. Ramiro Blanco/Matias Di Pasquale (Upst) 8-7
2. Sander Gille/Jesus Bandres (ETSU) def. Gonzalo Blanco/Edgar Rodriguez (Upst) 8-3
3. Robin Akser/Juan Ramirez (ETSU) def. Gianluca Paino/Marco Linconir (Upst) 8-3