FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team picked up its first Atlantic Sun Conference victory of the year with a 4-3 defeat of Belmont at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Thursday afternoon. Freshman Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) clinched the match for the Eagles with a three-set win in the No. 4 singles position.
With the victory, the Blue and Green improved to 3-11 (1-5 A-Sun) on the year, while Belmont dropped to 0-7 (0-4 A-Sun) overall.
“I am very proud of how our guys fought today,” said head coach J. Webb Horton. “We were down after doubles but felt as a team we could win four points in singles. It was nice for Dean to clinch the match in a third-set thriller, and great to see Checchia, Lvovsky and Brown add singles victories.”
Each of the three doubles matches resulted in 8-2 outcomes, with Belmont taking a pair for the opening point. The Bruins’ duo of Rafael Matos and Rodrigo Amarel defeated the FGCU team of senior Steve Binninger (St. Augustine, Fla./Saint Joseph Academy) and Tsamas at No. 1, and sophomore Collin Brown (Tallahassee, Fla./Florida State University School) and junior Matt Rock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Jacksonville University) were also turned away by Felipe Cirne Lima and Bruno Silva in the No. 2 matchup.
Preventing the doubles sweep, the Eagles’ senior tandem of Carlo Checchia (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Ceteb/Coastal Carolina University) and Mitchell Lvovsky (Dania Beach, Fla./Keystone HS/Wingate University) earned a victory in the No. 3 position over Chris Bates and Johnny Murrell.
The Eagles turned the match in their favor in the afternoon singles action by taking four matches. Lvovsky was the first to put the Eagles on the board with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Murrell at No. 5 and was followed with a win in the No. 6 spot by Brown, 6-1, 6-2, over Bates.
After Checchia earned a win over Cirne Lima, 6-0, 6-3, in the No. 3 matchup, Tsamas was able to clinch the match for the Blue and Green with his three-set victory over Silva, 6-1, 1-6, 6-2, at No. 4.
FGCU will look to make it two in a row as they play host to Lipscomb on Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex at 10 a.m. With A-Sun victories over Kennesaw State, 5-2, and Mercer, 4-3, and their lone loss at ETSU, 6-1, Lipscomb took its 5-5 (2-1 A-Sun) record to Stetson on Thursday.
Results and recaps from the competition will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com following the match.
1. Rodrigo Amaral (Belmont) def. Matt Rock (FGCU), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Rafael Matos (Belmont) def. Steve Binninger (FGCU), 6-2, 6-3
3. Carlo Checchia (FGCU) def. Felipe Cirne Lima (Belmont), 6-0, 6-3
4. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Bruno Silva (Belmont), 6-1, 1-6, 6-2
5. Mitchell Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Johnny Murrell (Belmont), 6-0, 6-1
6. Collin Brown (FGCU) def. Chris Bates (Belmont), 6-1, 6-2
1. Matos and Amaral (Belmont) def. Binninger and Tsamas (FGCU), 8-2
2. Lima and Silva (Belmont) def. Brown and Rock (FGCU), 8-2
3. Checchia and Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Bates and Murrell (Belmont), 8-2