ATLANTA – In the opening rounds of the main singles and doubles draws, the FGCU men’s tennis team showed its ability to keep up with and beat players from some of the best high-major programs. Highlighted by a doubles win over the University of Georgia and a win in the main singles draw, the Eagles have finished day two of the ITA Southeastern Regional Championships.
Day two opened with the main singles draw round of 64 where three FGCU players competed against some of the region’s best. Earning a win and a spot in Sunday’s round of 32 was junior Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) who defeated Atlantic Sun rival Maksim Yorsh of Kennesaw State. The match started off going back-and-forth with the first set resulting in a tie breaker. Never backing down, Vives took the first set 7-6 (7) and continued to control the match by winning the second set 6-2. Vives will return tomorrow to face Jose Garcia of Florida State.
After his singles victory, Vives partnered up with Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa) to take on Eric Diaz and Nick Wood from UGA, a consistently-successful program that has won four NCAA championships in the past 14 years. The pair of Bulldogs entered the match confident of their chance to win, but were stunned when the Eagles took control of the game, jumping to a 6-3 lead. The two V’s continued to outplay their opponents as they claimed an 8-5 victory in the second set to triumph over the Southeastern Conference athletes.
“It was a great victory for me and Lucas against one of the top schools in the country,” Vives said. “We showed that we can do great things together. Individually, I think I have to play better tomorrow than I did today if I want to keep winning.”
The duo returned to play in the doubles round of 16 on Saturday night to face the No. 5 ITA ranked pair of Blake Davis and Dominic Cotrone from FSU. Despite being able to earn a couple points off their nationally-ranked opponents, Vives and Vaz couldn’t gain control of the match, suffering a 8-2 loss.
“We laid an egg against FSU in the second round,” head coach CJ Weber said. “They’re a top-10 team in the country, so it would have been great to beat them, but wow getting that win over UGA was fun.”
Other members of the Green and Blue playing today were Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) and Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS), who combined to take on the No. 2 ITA ranked pair of Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland from UGA in the doubles opening round. Playing together for the first time, Bao and Tsamas fought hard to put a few points on two of the best in college tennis before falling, 8-4.
In the singles round of 64, Bao took on Miami’s Diego Soto. After dropping the first set 6-1, Bao stepped it up in the second set but ultimately fell 7-5. Tsamas took his opponent, William Albanese of Miami, into a grueling three-set contest. After a close first set and a win in the second set, Tsamas couldn’t come back in the third as he fell 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.
“As a team, we can definitely do better than we did today,” Weber said. “We still have a lot of great things to draw off of. We are getting much better in doubles. We faced a really tough doubles draw, but we certainly capitalized on Lucas and Jordi’s opportunity against UGA. To beat any team from a program of high caliber is a great moment for us.”
In day three of the championships Vives will continue on in the main singles draw while Bao and Tsamas will play both a singles and doubles consolation match.
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis at the ITA Southeast Region Championships, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_MTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.
Singles round of 64
Jordi Vives (FGCU) d. Maksim Yorsh (KSU) – 7-6 (7), 6-2
Diego Soto (Miami) d. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) – 6-1, 7-5
William Albanses (Miami) Dean Tsamas (FGCU) – 6-4, 5-7, 7-5
Doubles round of 32
Vives/Vaz (FGCU) d. Diaz/Wood (UGA) – 8-5
Pieters/Wangland (UGA) d. Bao/Tsamas (FGCU) – 8-4
Doubles round of 16
Davis/Cotrone d. Vives/Vaz (FGCU) – 8-2
Sunday, October 13:
Play begins at 8 a.m.
Singles main draw round of 32
Singles main draw round of 16
Monday, October 14:
Play begins at 9 a.m.
Singles main draw quarterfinals
Singles main draw semifinals
Tuesday, October 15:
Play begins at 9 a.m.
Singles main draw finals