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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 29, 2015) - The ETSU men's tennis team clinched its seventh win in the last eight matches Sunday, besting Samford, 5-2, in a tightly-contested Southern Conference match.
With the victory, ETSU improved to 3-0 in SoCon play.
"It was a solid win," ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said. "Samford is a solid and tenacious team. We didn't look particularly well—I guess it had to do with Samford's intensity more than anything."
The Buccaneers (8-7, 3-0) responded to Samford's tenacity, winning at No. 2 and No. 3 Doubles to take a 1-0 match advantage into singles play.
With an 8-4 win at No. 2 Doubles, Ismael Merino (Lima, Peru) and Robert Herrera (Barcelona, Spain) extended their doubles win streak to eight matches. The duo, which boasts an 8-1 record, has gone unbeaten since suffering its lone setback of the year to No. 72 Georgia Tech Jan. 31.
ETSU carried that momentum into singles play where the Bucs went on to win four of the six spots to clinch the 5-2 victory.
With the match knotted at 2-2, the Bucs rattled off three consecutive wins, taking the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 singles spots, respectively.
Senior co-captain Rogerio Ribeiro clinched the win for ETSU, defeating Samford's Austin Akers, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2 Singles. Meanwhile, Sebastian Yllera (Cinco Saltos, Argentina) earned a come-from-behind victory at the No. 4 position, rallying to defeat Justin Ghavami, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.
"I do like that we bounced back and were able to match their energy. We are getting into the final straightaway and we must play better as a team. That's the bottom line."
This weekend's matches marked the start of a four-match home stand for the Bucs. ETSU will host Appalachian State Friday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m., and Georgia State Saturday, April 4 at 1:00 p.m.
The Bucs are 4-0 at home this season.
ETSU 5, Samford 2
1. David Biosca (ETSU) def. Fares Kilani (SAM) 6-4, 6-0
2. Rogerio Ribeiro (ETSU) def. Austin Akers (SAM) 6-2, 6-3
3. Trey Carter (SAM) def. Conner Huertas (ETSU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Sebastian Yllera (ETSU) def. Justin Ghavami (SAM) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
5. E. Lourido Sanchez (SAM) def. Robert Herrera (ETSU) 2-5, retired
6. Ismael Merino (ETSU) def. Jake Faundez (SAM) 6-1, 6-2
1. David Biosca/Rogerio Ribeiro (ETSU) vs. Jake Faundez/Trey Carter (SAM) 5-5, unfinished
2. Ismael Merino/Robert Herrera (ETSU) def. Henry Moore/Austin Akers (SAM) 8-4
3. Conner Huertas/Diego Nunez (ETSU) def. Justin Ghavami/Fares Kilani (SAM) 8-3
Samford 7-7, 1-1 SoCon
ETSU 8-7, 3-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,6,3,1,2,4)
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