FORT MYERS, Fla. – Under the lights of the Tennis Complex for the second time this season, the FGCU men’s tennis team welcomes No. 24 Auburn to The Nest for a night of head-to-head competition on Friday at 5 p.m.
“We’re excited to host one of the more successful programs in the country within the last decade,” head coach C.J. Weber said. “It’s another great opportunity for our players to compete under tough conditions. I’m excited for our fans as well, as they’re able to come out and watch an incredible match.”
Squaring off for the first time, FGCU enters the contest at 1-4 while Auburn sits a 7-1.
ALL ABOUT AUBURN
Backed by their No. 24 ranking and four-match win streak, the Tigers are likely to bring FGCU its most challenging match so far this year. With four of its wins coming by a perfect score of 7-0, one the result of a shutout over Atlantic Sun member Mercer, Auburn’s sole loss was a 4-1 decision to then-No. 7 Baylor. Leading the Tigers’ doubles game with a 5-0 record is the 37th-ranked pair of Lukas Ollert and Dennis Lengsfeld. While none of their top singles players have totaled more consecutive wins or rank higher than FGCU’s Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC), the Tigers bring more depth to the court in No. 89 Dante Saleh and No. 112 Daniel Cochrane.
With two A-Sun Player of the Week titles, three victories over challengers from ranked teams, five wins to extend his nation-leading streak to 14 and an ITA rank of 66, the list achievements Vives has written just four weeks into the regular season is one some players would be proud of if it described their entire career. With 19 posted this season, Vives has registered 40 singles wins since his first match with the Green and Blue in September 2012.
Picking up wins in seven of nine matches, the Eagles soared to a 5-2 victory over Bethune-Cookman, earning their first win of the season last Sunday. Setting the victorious tone early and never looking back, the Green and Blue swept all three doubles matches for a quick 1-0 advantage. Bringing the momentum into singles play, the Eagles registered four wins, each in straight sets. Making quick work of their opponents to post a point for FGCU were Vives, Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS), Gabriel Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) and Adrian Reid (Lima, Peru).
After Friday’s match against Auburn, the Eagles will hit the road, traveling to Boca Raton for a dual match against FAU on Sunday at 1 p.m. and will return to The Nest on Feb. 22, hosting Florida A&M at 5 p.m.
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis against Auburn, 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.