JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 6, 2012) -- The ETSU men's tennis team won its 10th-consecutive match with a, 6-1, defeat of Mercer on Friday in Atlantic Sun action at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center.
Along with ETSU (10-8, 7-0 A-Sun) winning its 10th match in a row, seniors Sander Gille (Kuringen, Belgium) and Jeremy Bonnevalle (Keerbergen, Belgium) extended their personal winning streaks to double digits. Gille put away Mercer's (4-10, 1-5 A-Sun) Peter Tauchner 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 2, while Bonnevalle moved up to No. 3 and took down David Barton 6-2, 6-2.
"I think our energy was a bit down today," Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. "I told the team we need to play with more fire if we don't want our season to end early. The team is confident, but we have to take every match like it could be our last."
While the Bucs extended their team winning streak to double digits and kept their unblemished A-Sun record intact, they snapped a streak of five-consecutive shutouts which dated back to a, 5-0, win against then-No. 71 Stetson on March 23. Playing in the No. 1 singles match, senior Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) fell to Pierre Tafelski, 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8), to hand an ETSU opponent its first point in over two weeks.
Friday's action got underway with ETSU's fifth doubles sweep of the season.
Bandres and freshman Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) got doubles play rolling with their third straight victory by defeating Tauchner and Tafelski, 8-4. Gille and senior Robin Akser (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) clinched the point, bouncing back from their loss against Radford on Tuesday to take down Barton and Victor Dias at the No. 1, 9-7. With the point in hand, Bonnevalle and Jorge Varon (Valencia, Venezuela) completed the sweep over Vincent DeLise and Joao Pagan, 8-7.
After Gille and Bonnevalle put ETSU up, 3-0, with the first two singles victories, Ribeiro sealed ETSU's 10th victory in as many matches with a, 6-0, 6-3, win at the No. 4. The freshman's victory also improved his dual record to 9-1, as he remains one of four Buccaneers who are undefeated in A-Sun duals at 7-0.
With the match already decided, Varon snapped a four-match losing streak by defeating Elbert Beekman in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. The Bears scraped a point away with Tafelski's win, but the Bucs got some revenge with sophomore Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) closing out the match by defeating Dias, 6-4, 7-6.
ETSU now awaits its second of two home matches this weekend, as it is scheduled to face Kennesaw State on Saturday at noon.
For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.