JACKSONVILLE – Backed by powerful doubles performances and dominant singles play, the No. 3 FGCU men’s tennis team cruised to a 4-0 victory over No. 6 Mercer for its second-straight Atlantic Sun Championship quarterfinal win Thursday morning at the University of North Florida Tennis Complex.
Improving to a D-I best 12-9 on the year, the Eagles will take on second-seeded UNF (13-9, 6-0 A-Sun) in the semifinals on Friday at 11:30 a.m. The match will be played outdoors at the UNF Tennis Complex.
“I am very proud of this team,” head coach CJ Weber said. “We played very disciplined tennis from start to finish, which is why we won this match. We need to continue to focus on being ourselves and compete with high energy. Great things lie ahead of this team”
Originally scheduled for Thursday afternoon, A-Sun officials moved first serve to 9 a.m. due to incoming inclement weather. The change in time didn’t seem to bother the Eagles, as they took control of the match early and never let go.
The Green and Blue collected its first point of the morning through wins in two doubles matches. Earning their 14th win of the season were Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) and Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) with an 8-6 defeat of Mercer’s Austin Emmet and Oliver Snaider in the No. 1 slot. For the second-straight match FGCU fell in the three-doubles slot, making a win at No. 2 necessary for the ultimate victory, and for the second-straight match FGCU’s second-position pair of Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) rallied back from a drop in serve for a comeback win. Clinching the pivotal doubles point, Bao and Lvovsky handed Arnav Mohanty and Arsav Mohanty their first A-Sun loss of the year at 8-7 (4).
“We had a great comeback at two doubles, which gave us incredible momentum heading into singles,” Weber said. “Bao and Lance should be very proud as they were the only players in the conference to beat the pair from Mercer this season.”
Through the first few games of singles it was clear that the thrilling finish in doubles gave FGCU a heightened sense of confidence as the Eagles controlled play on a majority of the courts, leading to three quick wins and a spot in the semifinals.
First to finish was Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa), finding victory in the No. 4 position. Making quick work of Mercer’s Austin Emmet, Vaz left his opponent scoreless in the opening set, and took the second a quick 6-2 for the overall win.
Bringing the score to 3-0 just moments later was Tsamas, who proved to be too much for Anderson Scarpa to handle as the senior took both sets at the 6-3 mark. Building on his title of the most victorious player in FGCU’s D-I history, the win marks the 62nd of Tsamas’ career, and 19th against an A-Sun opponent.
“It felt awesome to get another postseason win and a 4-0 score is a testament to our teamwork today,” team co-captain Tsamas said. “We’ve been looking forward to making some noise in the tournament so today’s win was a great base for that, but facing UNF tomorrow is the next step. Our energy, confidence and team unity are the highest they’ve been all season and we’re ready to go!”
Clinching the match for the Eagles was No. 60 Vives, making his title of Conference Player of the Year all the more appropriate. Needing three sets to narrowly escape Oliver Snaider during the regular season, the Green and Blue’s leading player was determined not to let Thursday’s match progress in the same manner and that is exactly what Vives did taking the first set, 6-3, and the second, 7-5.
Live stats are available for every match in the A-Sun Championship. Just log on to www.ATLANTICSUN.org or www.FGCUATHLETICS.com for the links along with a preview stories leading into each day. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #ASunMTen on twitter during the weekend action.
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis, 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.
FGCU: 4 Mercer: 0
1. #60 Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Oliver Snaider (MER) 6-3,7-5
2. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) vs. Arnav Mohanty (MER) 5-7, 3-5 DNF
3. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Anderson Scarpa (MER) 6-3, 6-3
4. Lucas Vaz (FGCU) def. Austin Emmet (MER) 6-0, 6-2
5. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) vs. Manuel de Luis (MER) 6-4, 1-0 DNF
6. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) vs. Arsav Mohanty (MER) def. 6-4, 5-1 DNF
Order of finish: (4,3,1)
1. Dean Tsamas/Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Austin Emmet/Oliver Snaider (MER) 8-6
2. Lance Lvovsky/Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Arnav Mohanty/Arsav Mohanty (MER) 8-7 (4)
3. Anderson Scarpa/Joao Pagan (MER) def. Chris Perrigan/Lucas Vaz (FGCU) 8-4
Order of finish: (1,3,2)