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Men’s tennis bounces back with win over Brown

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 21:01

One day after suffering a narrow setback to No. 19 Wake Forest, the East Tennessee State University men’s tennis team bounced back in a big way Sunday, picking up a commanding, 4-0, victory over Ivy League opponent Brown.

Recording singles wins for the Buccaneers (1-1) were senior Roger Ordeig, sophomore Sebastian Yllera, and freshman Ismael Merino. In doubles action, Merino paired with fellow freshman Diego Nunez to find the win column, while sophomore Ricardo Pabon and freshman Conner Huertas Del Pino were victorious, as well.

“To bounce back after fighting with a Top 20 team showed a lot of grit and toughness,” ETSU head coach Yaser Zaatini said. “I think it was a good sign that the guys really want to win. I was proud of them.”

To begin the day, the Bucs managed to take the doubles point by capturing wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles spots.

The freshmen duo of Merino and Nunez took down Brown’s Justin To and Lucas Da Silveira in convincing fashion, 6-1, to pick up the win at No. 1 doubles, while teammates Pabon and Huertas Del Pino overcame the Bears’ senior duo of Sam Fife and Brandon Burke, 6-3.

Newcomer Sebastian Yllera and senior Roger Ordeig picked up wins at No. 4 and No. 3 singles, respectively, with each player taking his first set in a tiebreaker before coasting to a 6-2 second set win. Winning the match’s third point, Yllera knocked off Gregory Garcia, 6-5 (7-5), 6-2. Ordeig clinched ETSU’s 4-0 victory with a 6-5 (7-4), 6-2 win over Sam Fife.

At the No. 5 singles spot, Merino defeated Lucas Da Silveira by a score of 6-4, 6-2.

“We hit the ball very well today,” Zaatini said. “I was proud of the guys and the way we started, but proud doesn’t mean satisfied. We need to stay motivated and keep doing what we are doing.”

The remaining spots were left unfinished after ETSU clinched the win; however, the Buccaneers played well across the board Sunday.

Ordeig and freshman David Biosca were up a break, 4-3, versus Daniel Hirschberg and Gregory Garcia when play was abondoned.

Competing at No. 1 singles, Biosca was leading Justin To, 6-2, 4-6, 2-1, while Pabon was maintaining a 6-4, 5-5 (4-2) lead on David Neff at No. 6 singles. Nunez and Brown’s Brandon Burke were in the midst of a hotly contested match, finishing knotted at 6-2, 4-6, 3-3.

“Even with the loss yesterday, I saw a lot of positive things going on with our team this weekend, especially with so many fresh faces,” Zaatini said. “I am curious to see how we keep developing with these guys. It is still an unknown.”

In its opening two matches, the Bucs lineup has consisted of five newcomers and just two returning players (Ordeig and Pabon).

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