ATHENS, Ga. (Feb. 4, 2012) – No. 4 Georgia was too much for the No. 64-ranked ETSU men’s tennis team, as the Buccaneers fell to the Bulldogs 6-1 on Saturday afternoon inside the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts.
“I think we played much better, but Georgia is just too tough of a team,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “We all understand what needs to be done now. We did a good job overall and played with the level of intensity that we need to be playing at.”
ETSU (0-4) started the day by dropping all three doubles contests. Seniors Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) and Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) were up a break, 4-2, in the No. 3 doubles match against Garrett Brasseaux and K.U. Singh, but gave Georgia (4-0) the break back to square the match at 4-4. After each side held its next service game, Brasseaux and Singh rallied to win the final three games to take the first match of the day 8-5.
The ETSU No. 1 doubles pair of senior Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and junior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) also took their doubles match to 5-5, but suffered the same fate as their fellow Buccaneers to drop the set to Sadio Doumbia and Hernus Pieters 8-5.
With Georgia having secured the doubles point, sophomore Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) and junior Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) were left to finish at No. 2 doubles. Georgia’s Nathan Pasha and Ignacio Taboada held a 7-2 lead after taking the first seven games of the set, and gave the Bulldogs a doubles sweep, winning the match 8-2, just two minutes after the No. 1 doubles match completed.
The No. 1-4 singles matches followed doubles play, but things didn’t improve much for the Bucs. Bandres, playing at the No. 2 slot, was the only of the four Buccaneers to win his opening set, taking down Singh 6-4.
It was the only set ETSU took in any of the four matches, and Bonnevalle, Ramirez, Gille all fell in straight sets to clinch the match for Georgia. Bandres eventually fell in three sets to Singh, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
ETSU’s only consolation for the day came from Varon defeating No. 101 Campbell Johnson 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9). The loss was the first Georgia had suffered all season, breaking its 23-match singles winning streak. All three of the Bulldogs’ previous matches ended in 7-0 decisions.
“I told [Varon] this is your chance today to prove yourself,” Zaatini added on inserting Varon into the lineup. “He took advantage of the opportunity he was given and he’s earned his spot into the next match.”
The Bucs will continue to go up against ranked opponents, with their next match coming next Thursday against No. 67 Drake in Des Moines, Iowa.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.
#4 Georgia 6, #64 ETSU 1
1. #10 Sadio Doumbia (UGA) def. Sander Gille (ETSU) 6-4, 6-4
2. KU Singh (UGA) def. Jesus Bandres (ETSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. #64 Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 6-1, 6-4
4. Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) 6-3, 6-1
5. #26 Ignacio Taboada (UGA) def. Robin Akser (ETSU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Jorge Varon (ETSU) def. #101 Campbell Johnson (UGA) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9)
1. Sadio Doumbia/Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Jesus Bandres/Sander Gille (ETSU) 8-5
2. Nathan Pasha/Ignacio Taboada (UGA) def. Jorge Varon/Juan Ramirez (ETSU) 8-2
3. Garrett Brasseaux/KU Singh (UGA) def. Robin Akser/Jeremy Bonnevalle (ETSU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,3,1,2,5,6)
Official: Walt Williams T-4:45 A-238