FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team played a complete match under the lights sweeping the doubles point and winning four singles matches to take down Atlantic Sun foe Kennesaw State, 5-2, on Friday night in front of a crowd of over 200 at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
FGCU improves to 3-3 (1-0 A-Sun) on the season and Kennesaw State drops to 5-5 (0-1 A-Sun). The Eagles win their first-ever A-Sun opener and match the win total from a season ago.
“I’m just really happy for our guys tonight,” said first-year head coach C.J. Weber. “They competed and represented themselves very well. This is a fun team to watch, so I look forward to playing in front of even bigger crowds in the future! This was a big step in the right direction for our program.”
The Green and Blue got off to a fast start by sweeping the doubles matches to claim an early 1-0 lead in the match. At No. 3 doubles, Junior Collin Brown (Victoria, Texas/Memorial HS) and sophomore Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) defeated Gianni Kubin and Michael Browder, 8-4.
Freshman Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and junior Jackson Moore (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS/Georgia State) won a hard fought match at No. 2 doubles against Gokalp Ozdemir and Louis Theodor, 8-6.
In the final doubles match, Senior Matthew Rock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Fort Lauderdale HS/Jacksonville) and sophomore Lance Lvovsky (Dania,Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) completed the sweep with a 8-7 (7-2) win over Simon Janik and Alex Toliver.
FGCU keep the momentum going in singles play as Tsamas won in straight sets against Janik, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 3 singles to give the Eagles a 2-0 advantage. Tsamas has won five-straight matches to improve his dual match record to a team-leading 5-1.
Kennesaw State cut into the lead after Kubin won in straight sets over Lvovsky, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5 singles. Freshman Michael Beiler (Palm Harbor, Fla./Dunedin HS) followed with a straight sets victory at No. 6 singles over Alexander Pena, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5). Beiler was able to force a second set tiebreaker after breaking serve and finished his match by winning 7-5 in the tiebreaker.
With the Eagles leading 3-1, Bao would clinch the match by defeating Toliver, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, at No. 1 singles, while improving to 3-3 in dual matches.
“I’m so proud of our freshmen,” added Weber. “They are learning a lot about what it means to be an Eagle!”
Moore lost a tight match in the third set to Theodor, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, at No. 2 singles. Moore forced a third set after winning the second set 6-2, but lost 6-4 in the third.
In the final match of the night, Rock pulled out a win in the third set super tiebreaker over Ozdemir, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (12-10). Rock was trailing 10-9 in the super tiebreaker before saving match point and winning the next two points to close the victory 12-10.
The Green and Blue welcome SIU-Edwardsville to the FGCU Tennis Complex on March 7 at 1 p.m.
Results and recaps will be available on www.FGCUathletics.com after each match this season.
FGCU 5, Kennesaw State 2
1. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Alex Toliver (KSU) 7-6 (7-4), 7-5
2. Louis Theodor (KSU) def. Jackson Moore (FGCU) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
3. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Simon Janik (KSU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Matthew Rock (FGCU) def. Gokalp Ozdemir (KSU) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (12-10)
5. Gianni Kubin (KSU) def. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Michael Beiler (FGCU) def. Alexander Pena (KSU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
1. Matthew Rock/Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Simon Janik/Alex Toliver (KSU) 8-7 (7-2)
2. Tianyu Bao/Jackson Moore (FGCU) def. Gokalp Ozdemir/Louis Theodor (KSU) 8-6
3. Collin Brown/Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Gianni Kubin/Michael Browder (KSU) 8-4
Kennesaw State 5-5 (0-1 A-Sun)
FGCU 3-3 (1-0 A-Sun)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,5,6,1,2,4)
First-Ever Night Match