FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a lengthy match lasting just under four hours, the FGCU men’s tennis team fell a hard 7-0 to No. 51 Minnesota on Tuesday night at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles fall to 6-8 on the season while Minnesota improves to 7-7.
“Tonight was tough for us,” head coach C.J. Weber said. “I have to give Minnesota a lot of credit. They played well in conditions they haven’t seen all season as they are used to playing indoors. They have a great team, and I anticipate that they will finish very well in their conference. Hopefully this match makes us better as we begin preparing for UAB.”
The Gophers jumped to an early lead after claiming two of three matches to clinch the doubles point. Highlighting play for the Eagles were partners Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) and Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS), putting a huge scare on Minnesota’s Jack Hamburg and Matthieu Froment, who are listed 16th in the ITA doubles rankings. With the score at 5-4, the Eagles ignited for a three-game run as both Tsamas and Vives held their serves and broke Hamburg’s, bringing the score to 7-4. The Gophers held the next game to bring the score to 7-5, resulting in an opportunity for the Eagles to end the match with a win of their serve. As the Green and Blue were leading, 30-15, Minnesota’s No. 3 pair won its match to clinch the point. With Hamburg and Froment becoming aware of the win they chose to walk away from the match, and the upset that was likely to follow.
Unfortunately the Eagles couldn’t pick things up in singles play, coming up short in each of the night’s matches.
Falling just two points out of victory was Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS), with a three-set loss to Minnesota’s Ruben Weber in No. 2 singles. Bao escaped the first set, 6-4, but dropped the second, 2-6. In the deciding third set the two remained on serve forcing a tiebreak at six all. The match ended similar to how it started, with play going point-for-point, until Ruben pulled away at the end with a win at 7-6 (8-6) for the ultimate victory.
One of the contest’s most anticipated matches was the No. 1 singles battle between No. 70 Vives and No. 72 Toledo. After falling, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to Vives in November’s Dick Vitale Invite, it was clear Toledo was out for revenge in Tuesday’s meeting. Using just two sets to notch a victory, Toledo took the first 6-0 and the second 6-4.
The Green and Blue will look to redeem Tuesday’s loss when they welcome the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a dual match on Mar. 22 at Noon. For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis against the Gophers, 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.
1. Jordi Vives/Dean Tsamas (FGCU) vs. #16 Mathieu Froment/Jack Hamburg (MINN) 7-5, unfinished
2. Leandro Toledo/Eric Frueh (MINN) def. Tianyu Bao/Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 8-6
3. Franz Sydow/Juan Pablo Ramirez (MINN) def. Lucas Vaz/Chirs Perrigan (FGCU) 8-5
1. #72 Leandro Toledo (MINN) def. #70 Jordi Vives (FGCU) 6-0, 6-4
2. Ruben Weber (MINN) def. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
3. Jack Hamburg (MINN) def. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Mathieu Froment (MINN) def. Lucas Vaz (FGCU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
5. Eric Frueh (MINN) def. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Franz Sydow (MINN) def. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3