JACKSONVILLE – In a match that ended nearly 30 hours after it was started, due to rain delays and rescheduled start times, The No. 3 FGCU men’s tennis team ended its season with a 4-2 loss to No. 2 North Florida in the Atlantic Sun Championship semifinal on Saturday afternoon at the UNF Tennis Complex.
“While we didn’t expect to lose this match today, all compliments to UNF,” head coach CJ Weber said. “They played a great match to clinch some key spots in the singles lineup. At the end it came down to a point here and a point there.”
The Eagles claimed an early lead after winning two of three doubles matches. Finding victory in the No. 1 slot for FGCU were Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) and Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) handing an 8-6 defeat to Caio Gomes and Yannick Zuern. Moments after the No. 1 contest finished, play was suspended due to rain and did not resume until Saturday. To begin today’s continuation of the match FGCU fell in the three-doubles slot, making a win at No. 2 necessary for the ultimate victory, and for the third-straight match FGCU’s second-position pair of Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) prevailed in a tiebreaker to earn a key point for the Eagles. Facing Zachary Goldberg and Norbert Nemcsek, Bao and Lvovsky did what they do best and powered through the tiebreak, 8-7 (2).
To start singles UNF took the first two matches for a 2-1 lead, but the Eagles showed they weren’t to be dismissed, winning the next match in straight sets to put them back in contention for the overall win.
Posting the Green and Blue’s first singles victory to even the score at two points each was No. 60 Vives taking the one-singles match from Caio Gomes. After Vives narrowly escaped the first set with a 7-5 win, he turned his game around in the second set, breaking Gomes serve after serve for a win at 6-1.
With the score knotted at two, the Ospreys regained the lead after a win at No. 4, but the match was either teams to win as the final two singles contests were extending into third-set tiebreakers.
To open the No. 6 match Gabriel Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) dropped the first set, 2-6, but took control in the second to leave Pablo Tellez at 6-0 and force a deciding third set. The story was similar in the No. 5 contest as Lvovsky took the first set from Zach Goldberg, 6-2, but lost the second, 6-4. Both Echeverry and Lvovsky fought for their team, which hungry for an upset over the Ospreys, but ultimately Goldberg in the fifth-position match came away with a win of the third set, 6-3, clinching the victory for UNF.
“Our three seniors have worked nearly a miracle here within their careers at FGCU,” Weber said. “They have the respect of every coach in the country and every program knows they have to bring their best if they want to beat us. They’ve instilled an incredible amount of pride in FGCU tennis and their legacy will live on forever.”
The Green and Blue end their most successful season in program history with an overall record of 12-10 and earned a program-high seven wins over A-Sun opponents.
FGCU: 2 UNF: 4
1. #60 Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Caio Gomes (UNF) 7-5, 6-1
2. Norbert Nemcsek (UNF) def. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Yannick Zuern (UNF) def. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Bernardo Craveiro (UNF) def. Lucas Vaz (FGCU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Zach Goldberg (UNF) def. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) vs. Pablo Tellez (UNF) 2-6, 6-0, 6-6 DNF
Order of finish: (3,2,1,4,5)
1. Dean Tsamas/Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Caio Gomes/Yannick Zuern (UNF) 8-6
2. Tianyu Bao/Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Zachary Goldberg/Norbert Nemcsek (UNF) 8-7 (2)
3. Pablo Tellez/Bernard Craverio (UNF) def. Chris Perrigan/Lucas Vaz (FGCU) 8-6Order of finish: (1,3,2)