FORT MYERS, Fla. – Under blue skies and a crowd of over 300, “The Show” which fans have come to expect was certainly on as the FGCU men’s tennis team picked up its first win of the season, downing Bethune-Cookman 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles move to move to 1-4 on the season while B-CU falls to 0-3.
“Today was a great day to get on the win column,” head coach CJ Weber said. “We had great support from the crowd, which the guys really feed off. It’s always nice to win in front of your home fans, so we’re really glad we could do that today”
Picking up wins in seven of nine matches, the Eagles set the victorious tone early and never looked back. Beginning with doubles, the Green and Blue swept all three matches for a quick 1-0 advantage. Bringing in the first win was the tandem of Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) and Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) with a fast 6-2 defeat of Alvaro Barrera and Walid Gtari. Clinching the doubles point with a 6-4 win over Greg Almeida and Gilbert Rotich were Gabriel Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) and Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa) while Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) took a 6-3 victory from Diego Garavito and Santiago Lopez just minutes later.
“Sweeping the doubles matches was a great accomplishment for us,” Weber said. “I really think that as our season goes on doubles can be a strong point for us.”
Bringing the momentum into Singles play, the Eagles registered four wins, each in straight sets. No. 66 Vives posted the first singles win with a fast 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Santiago Lobelo in the number one match. Vives’ win brings his streak to 14-straight, the longest in the nation.
Also making quick work of his opponent was Bao, who defeated Gilbert Rotich in dominant fashion, 6-1, 6-2 for a win in the No. 3 match.
“Both Bao and Jordi played great matches,” Weber said. “They took control on the game early and never let it go.”
One court to Bao’s left, Echeverry topped Alvaro Barrera with another straight-set win, 6-2, 6-2. Winning in front of FGCU’s home fans for the first time in his career was Adrian Reid (Lima, Peru) after a 6-3, 6-4 reign over Greg Almeida.
“Gabe played some great tennis today, and I’m really happy he had a great match to find some rhythm,” Weber said. “Also, congratulations to Adrian for picking up his first point for the Eagles. With our schedule points have been difficult to come by, so I’m happy he could contribute to our win.”
In attendance at Sunday’s match was Association of Tennis Professionals world-ranked No. 22 Kevin Anderson. A long-time friend of Weber, Anderson turned pro in 2007 and has career wins over some of tennis’ best including Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
“It was great coming out and meeting the FGCU team,” Anderson said. “I know how passionate CJ is about his program and I felt the guys share that same passion, which is so important. Of course seeing them get the win today makes the experience better!”
The Eagles return to action as they host No. 28 Auburn under the lights of the FGCU Tennis Complex on Feb. 7 at 5 p.m.
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis this season, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_MTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available.
FGCU men's tennis with ATP No. 22 Kevin Anderson
FGCU: 5 B-CU: 2
1. #66 Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Santiago Lobelo (BCU) 6-0, 6-2
2. Walid Gtari (BCU) def. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) 6-4, 6-4
3. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Gilbert Rotich (BCU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Diego Garavito (BCU) def. Lucas Vaz (FGCU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-5 (7-5)
5. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) def. Alvaro Barrera (BCU) 6-2, 6-2
6. Adrian Reid (FGCU) def. Greg Almeida (BCU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: (1,3,5,2,6,4)
1. Tsamas/Vives (FGCU) def. Barrera /Gtari (BCU) 6-2
2. Bao/Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Garavito/Lobelo (BCU) 6-3
3. Echeverry/Vaz (FGCU) def. Almeida/Rotich (BCU) 6-4
Order of finish: (1,3,2)