Osorio Falls in Singles Championship
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Matias Oddone of Drury overcame a battle from Juan Carlos Osorio of Florida Gulf Coast University with superior ground strokes to clinch the 2005 ITA Division II Singles Championship at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Saturday.
Oddone, the top seed and Great Lakes Region champion, picked up his third consecutive straight set tournament victory with a 6-4, 6-1 win over the upstart Osorio, the Southeast Region champion.
The fourth-ranked player in NCAA Division II last spring, Oddone utilized a powerful two-handed backhand to work the angles to knock off No. 33 Osorio, who was looking for his fourth straight upset of a top-15 ranked player this fall. But Oddone, who lost just 14 total games in three tournament matches this weekend, came into the finals after easy wins in the first round and semifinals.
The two players, similar in playing style and stature, traded service breaks early on before Oddone broke Osorio at 4-4 and held serve to win the 75-minute first set. In the second set, Oddone maintained relentless pressure on every point to capture his first title.
“I felt if I could win that first set I could wear him down," said the Argentina native, who improved his career singles record to 59-10 at Drury. "He's very quick and I hoped he would be tired since he had two tough matches prior to the finals.”
Osorio, who upset second seed Kevin Taylor of Francis Marion in a grueling three-hour, three-set semifinal match on Friday, thought Oddone’s ability to control the tempo of the match was the key.
“He did a great job making shots and I never had a chance to get on top of him,” said Osorio. “The first set was a good battle but he made all the shots. I lost my concentration a little in the second set and he took advantage of that. I like playing people that grind and grind like him, but you can’t let up against such a good player.”
Osorio, who lost for just the second time in 30 career singles matches at FGCU, became the first FGCU player to advance to a national championship final.
“I’m proud of what I accomplished for myself and FGCU tennis,” said Osorio, “but I came here to compete and win. I’m disappointed that I lost but I know I played hard the entire tournament.”
Eagles head coach J. Webb Horton felt Osorio earned his place among the top players in Division II.
“I thought he played a great match and played hard but Matias is a class act and great player,” said Horton. “This is great for Juan and great for FGCU. He’s proven he’s among the best in the country.”