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Seniors Bandres, Ramirez win in three sets to lift ETSU
COLUMBUS, Ohio. (Jan. 27, 2013) – In a battle of No. 71 versus No. 72 on Sunday morning inside Ohio State’s Varsity Tennis Center, it was the No. 72 ETSU men’s tennis team that came away victorious, 4-2, over the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to close the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
ETSU (2-2) took the doubles point in a tiebreak to open the scoring and reeled off the final three singles points to defeat the Ragin’ Cajuns (0-2). Seniors Jesus Bandres (Caracas, Venezuela) and Juan Ramirez (Asuncion, Paraguay) were vital to the victory, each bouncing back from dropping their second sets to win in three. Ramirez retied the match, 2-2, at No. 4 singles after the Bucs had lost singles matches at No. 6 and No. 3, and Bandres clinched the win in the No. 1 hole, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Rick de Groot to earn ETSU its first win over a nationally ranked opponent this year.
“The guys came out fighting and I thought the match got off to a pretty fiery start,” Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini said. “Those matches are the toughest because everybody’s adrenaline is flowing and everyone wants to win. Our guys showed a lot of poise, fought extremely hard and you can’t take this win away from them.”
Junior Roger Ordeig (Gurb, Spain) won a crucial match at No. 5, coming back from being down a break in the second set to get by Hunter Goetz, 6-3, 7-5. The win came shortly after Ramirez’s three-setter over Edgar Lopez, putting ETSU a point away from the match.
“Roger fought like an animal to come back and win that set,” Zaatini said.
Up 3-2, both Bandres and sophomore Rogerio Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil) were in striking distance of clinching the win. Ribeiro won his first set against Jarred Wynan – No. 19 in the Southern Region – and had match point in the second set ahead 6-5 in a tiebreak. At the same time, Bandres was in the midst of closing out his match, earning a match point against de Groot. Ribeiro’s tiebreak went to 6-6, but Bandres won his match point to seal the win.
“The whole team played within its means and kept its discipline,” added Zaatini. “We’re not as deep as we once were, but we’re definitely a tough team to contend with.”
Both ETSU and ULL played Saturday to open the fifth annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend. ETSU was outmatched by No. 4 Ohio State, 7-0, while ULL opened its dual season on the wrong end of a 4-3 decision against No. 64 Miami (FL), setting up Sunday’s 10 a.m., consolation matchup.
ETSU takes its .500 record to Boone, N.C., on Saturday, looking to defeat Appalachian State for the third straight year. First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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For more information on ETSU men’s tennis, please visit www.ETSUBucs.com.