DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Fueled by taking five of six singles matches, the FGCU men’s tennis team reached double figure wins on the season for the first time since 2007-08, as it defeated Bethune-Cookman, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon.
Winners of five of their last seven matches, the Eagles now stand at 10-8 overall and are 4-2 in the A-Sun heading into Sunday’s critical match at No. 66 and first place UNF at noon. The Wildcats, who entered with wins in seven of their last 10 matches, slip to 12-11 on the year and are now 0-3 all-time against the Green and Blue.
Singles play has been the key to FGCU’s strong seven-match stretch, as its 29-13 collectively over that span.
“After getting behind during doubles, I’m proud of how the guys responded in singles,” said head coach C.J. Weber. “There were some really tough conditions out there today, so we had to focus a lot on the fundamentals in order to maintain control of the match. Now we have to shift gears back to conference play for UNF tomorrow.”
The Eagles dropped the doubles point, but quickly took the lead thanks to straight-set wins from sophomore Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC), junior Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) and junior Gabe Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio). Vives and Tsamas teamed up to win top doubles, 8-3, and carried that momentum over to singles action where they lost a combined five games over their two matches at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The straight-set win was the 11th of the year for Tsamas who improved to 14-4, while Vives joined Tsamas in the double figure wins club with his 10th victory (10-5) of the year.
Seeing his first action since March 8th, Echeverry made quick work of Moritz Pronath at the No. 6 spot, putting together a pair of 6-1 wins. For the third time this season, junior Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./ Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) supplied the game-winning point with his win at No. 4 singles. Lvovsky evened his season mark at 9-9, including 4-2 at the No. 4 spot.
The final 5-2 outcome was provided by sophomore Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS-FL), as he finished off a three-set match at No. 3 singles with a 6-2 final set. Bao’s win marked the eighth time this season that FGCU has swept the top three singles spots.
FGCU 5, Bethune-Cookman 2
1. Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Juan Varon (BCU) – 6-1, 6-1
2. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Santiago Lobelo (BCU) – 6-3, 6-0
3. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Kip Jackson (BCU) – 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
4. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Diego Garavito (BCU) – 3-6, 6-2, 2-0 (ret.)
5. Leonardo Lima (BCU) def. Michael Beiler (FGCU) – 6-3, 6-3
6. Gabe Echeverry (FGCU) def. Moritz Pronath (BCU) – 6-1, 6-1
1. Vives/Tsamas (FGCU) def. Lima/Rotich (BCU) – 8-3
2. Lobelo/Garavito (BCU) def. Bao/Lvovsky (FGCU) – 8-4
3. Varon/Pronath (BCU) def. Beiler/Brown (FGCU) – 8-3