NCAA Championship Round of 64
No. 45 Jordi Vives (20-2) vs. No. 114 Philippe Tsangaridis (12-7)
Wednesday, May 21 | 3:00 PM | Dan Magill Tennis Complex
Video/Live Stats: NCAA
ATHENS, Ga – Marking the program’s inaugural appearance, FGCU men’s tennis junior Jordi Vives has touched down in The Peach State looking to write FGCU history in the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship, conducted May 21-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia.
Being the first from the Green and Blue to qualify for the championship, No. 45 Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) will begin his run through the tournament with a first-round matchup against No. 114 Philippe Tsangaridis of Coastal Carolina on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
“The energy here in Athens is just awesome,” head coach CJ Weber said. “This is what college tennis is all about and I can’t wait to see how Jordi does in the event. He’s playing great tennis and ready to capitalize on this opportunity.”
All matches for the singles championship will be the best-of-three sets. Regular scoring and a 12-point tiebreaker at six-games-all will be used for all matches. The singles tournament is single elimination and consists of 64 players. If Vives defeats Tsangaridis he will face the winner of Ryan Lipman (Vanderbilt) and Yannick Hanfmann (USC) in the round of 32 on Thursday.
HOW HE GOT HERE
The Spaniard’s qualification is a result of his 34-4 overall record, which includes a 20-2 result playing one singles in each of the spring’s dual matches. After ending his fall campaign with nine-straight wins, Vives opened the spring season with victories over then-No. 36 Florida State and then-No. 60 Nebraska, increasing his streak to 11, which at the time was the longest in the nation. After establishing his reign on Jan. 23, the Barcelona native extended his streak to 14, before falling to Auburn’s Daniel Cochrane, then-ranked 112th, on Feb. 7.
Vives’ success on the season garnered him recognition in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Most recently he was named the Southeast’s recipient of the 2014 ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership & Sportsmanship Award winner after being named A-Sun Player of the Year, to the All-Conference First Team, to the Academic All-Conference Team and to the All-Tournament Team
The story of Vives’ round of 64 opponent, Tsangaridis, is not much different from his own. Both players were the first from their programs to be nationally ranked, are the first from their universities to ever qualify for the championship event and both earned an automatic bid for being the highest-ranking player from their respective conferences. Tsangaridis received Southern Conference all-league honors in both singles and doubles, and finished the regular season and Big South tournament with a 12-7 singles record after playing all but one match on the first court.
Of the 62 remaining players listed to the field, Vives has faced two this season, earning a win against each. During his fall tour Vives beat Jason Tahir of Duke and Leandro Toledo of Minnesota, all leading to his win of November’s Dick Vitale Invite. In the Eagles dual match against Minnesota, Vives and Toledo met again where the Golden Gopher claimed a win.
Fans can follow Vives and his run through the 2014 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship on twitter at @FGCU_MTEN and www.FGCUAthletics.com for up-to-the-minute news and information.