ATLANTA – After three days of intense competition against some of the region’s best and a slew of wins over high-major opponents, the FGCU men’s tennis team ended play at the ITA Southeastern Regional Championships on Monday.
In day four of the championships, junior Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) represented the Green and Blue in the main singles draw quarterfinals as he faced the No. 33 ITA ranked Nathan Pasha from the University of Georgia, a consistently-successful program that has won four NCAA championships in the past 14 years. Vives’ spot in the quarterfinals came after wins over high-major opponents Jose Garcia of Florida State and Wilfredo Gonzalez of Miami to make him the all-time furthest advancing FGCU player.
Entering Monday’s match, Vives knew claiming a victory over his ranked opponent wouldn’t be easy, inspiring him to play harder. To start the first set, Vives played with confidence as he jumped to an early 3-2 lead. Despite his strong opening, Vives couldn’t find a way stay in control of the game as he went on to trail Pasha 4-3 before falling 6-4. The second set was more of the same with Vives jumping to a 2-1 lead before trailing 4-3 and ultimately losing 6-4.
“Jordi is such a fun player to watch and coach,” head coach CJ Weber said. “This was a good tournament for him. Tough loss today, but he just couldn’t neutralize Pasha’s offense. Today Pasha played the pressure points better, but I know this is a match Jordi can win. As far as the team as a whole, we’re excited to get back home and finish the fall season strong.”
While unable to claim a singles victory over the Bulldogs, FGCU saw a triumph over UGA in the doubles draw, as Vives partnered up with Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa) to take on Eric Diaz and Nick Wood in the round of 32. 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.
The Eagles racked up one doubles and three singles wins over the weekend.
After returning from Atlanta, the Green and Blue will continue their fall tour as they host the FGCU Invitational Oct. 25-27 at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
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
Singles round of 32
Jordi Vives (FGCU) d. Jose Garcia (FSU) – 6-4, 7-5
Singles round of 16
Jordi Vives (FGCU) d. Wilfredo Gonzalez (Miami) – 2-6, 6-0, 6-4
Nathan Pasha (UGA) d. Jordi Vives (FGCU) – 6-4, 6-4
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 (FSU) d. Vives/Vaz (FGCU) – 8-2
Eric Baum (GSU) d. Tianyu Bao – 7-5, 6-4
Simon Pritchard (KSU) d. Dean Tsamas – 7-6 (3), 6-1
Colin Edwards (GT) d. Lucas Vaz – 6-2, 6-4
Baum/Koeke (GSU) d. Bao/Tsamas – 8-4