Eagles improve to 2-2 before Saturday’s home night match vs. SMU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team turned the momentum of a hard-fought doubles point sweep into four singles victories en route to starting its home-opening weekend with a 5-2 win over Troy on Friday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
With the win, the Eagles even their mark at 2-2 heading into Saturday night’s home night match against SMU. Admission to the 6 p.m. match is free, as FGCU looks to build off last year’s big crowd that turned out for its first-ever night match.
Despite sweeping doubles, the 1-0 lead didn’t come easy as all three matches were close, highlighted by sophomore Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS-FL) and freshman Dylan Gunning (Boca Raton, Fla./Olympic Heights HS) coming back from down 7-6 and 40-love by breaking four straight match points to force the tie-breaker. The duo went on to take the tie-break, 7-2.
“Although we still have a lot of work to do in doubles, I’m really happy for the guys to get the sweep and earn the point,” said head coach C.J. Weber. “It’s such a valuable point and momentum starter. Bao and Dylan’s ability to save four straight match points was awesome.”
The match tied at 1-1 when Troy took No. 5 singles, but the Green and Blue took the lead right back with junior Dean Tsamas’ (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) win at No. 2 singles and Bao’s victory in the top spot. Named the A-Sun Player of the week on Jan. 23, Tsamas cruised to his third straight victory of the spring, defeating Mansingh Athare, 6-1 and 6-2. Bao picked up right where he left off in doubles, as he gave FGCU a 3-1 lead with a straight-set, 6-4, 6-3 win over Andre Stiable.
Needing just one point to pick up their second win of the year, the Eagles got the game-clinching point from junior Lance Lvovsky (Dania, Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville), who also served as the closer to the team’s dramatic 4-3 triumph over FAMU. This time Lvovsky didn’t need three sets, taking care of Daniel Bustamante in the No. 4 spot, 7-5 and 6-3.
Junior Gabe Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) capped the 5-2 win with the team’s fourth straight-set singles win.
FGCU 5, Troy 2
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 1, 3, 4, 6
1. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. Andre Stiable (Troy) – 6-4, 6-3
2. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Mansingh Athare (Troy) – 6-1, 6-2
3. Anas Rouchdi (Troy) def. Dylan Gunning (FGCU) – 6-4, 6-1
4. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Daniel Bustamante (Troy) – 7-5, 6-3
5. Sami Ghorbel (Troy) def. Michael Bieler (FGCU) – 6-3, 6-2
6. Gabriel Echeverry (FGCU) def. Patrick Eichler (Troy) – 6-4, 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Bao/Gunning (FGCU) def. Stabile/Ghorbel (Troy) – 8-7 (2)
2. Vives/Moore (FGCU) def. Bustamante/Rouchdi (Troy) – 8-6
3. Lvovsky/Tsamas (FGCU) def. Athare/Eichler (Troy) – 8-7 (2)