FORT MYERS, Fla. – Aiming to bounce back from Tuesday’s drop to No. 51 Minnesota, the FGCU men’s tennis team welcomes the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a midday dual, Saturday at Noon on the courts of the FGCU Tennis Complex.
A meeting with the 6-6 UAB squad, that is 1-3 on the road, will give the Eagles an opportunity to collect their fifth home victory, seventh overall, of the dual-match season.
FGCU will look to get ahead from the start of the match by capturing the doubles point over the Blazers. Both teams have shown consistent play all season, each winning the doubles point in eight of their matches.
Leading the Green and Blue in paired play are partners Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) and Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS), holding a 9-4 record in play at the No. 1 position. Their last time out, the pair of Eagles put a huge scare on ITA-No. 16 Jack Hamburg and Matthieu Froment of Minnesota, who narrowly dodged an upset. With the FGCU tandem up 30-15 in Vives’ serve, and 7-5 in the match, the Gophers grabbed wins in the other two contests to clinch the doubles point, allowing the battle on court one to go unfinished with the Eagles just a hold in serve away from victory.
In singles play, No. 70 Vives and senior Gabe Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) have been the most consistent for the Eagles. With a nearly perfect record at the No. 1 slot, Vives has accumulated 12 wins and just two losses, falling to ranked opponents in No. 112 Daniel Cochrane of Auburn and No. 72 Leandro Toledo of Minnesota.
Echeverry has picked up six wins this year, half in the fifth position, the other half in the sixth. Highlighting his victories was his down-to-the-wire win over USC Upstate’s Rajanvir Dharni, as the senior rallied from a third-set deficit at No. 6 singles to take home the match-clinching point in the Eagles’ dramatic 4-3 victory over the Spartans on Mar. 15.
Following Saturday’s match the Eagles continue their home stint as they host Kennesaw State on Mar. 28 at 11 a.m., and return the next day hosting Mercer at 6 p.m. For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis against Wright State, 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.