FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sitting just one game behind Stetson heading into the regular season finale in DeLand, Fla., the FGCU men’s tennis team can clinch a spot in the Atlantic Sun Tournament for the second straight year with a win on Saturday against the Hatters.
Standing at 10-9 overall and 4-3 in the A-Sun, the Eagles can also clinch a berth into the conference postseason with a Mercer loss against No. 74 ETSU on Friday. A win would also make FGCU the No. 3 seed going into the A-Sun Tournament on Friday, April 19 hosted by ETSU.
FGCU’s 10 wins are its most since the program’s inaugural Division I season in 2007-08, while it will aim for a program record fifth A-Sun win at Stetson. The Eagles are 0-6 all-time against the Hatters and were eliminated in last year’s A-Sun postseason by Stetson.
Two of the Green and Blue’s three losses in A-Sun action have come by a 4-3 margin, as they haven’t lost back-to-back games since the first weekend of February. FGCU is coming off a 1-1 weekend in which it took down 13-win Bethune-Cookman, 5-2, before dropping a 4-3 heartbreaker at A-Sun unbeaten and No. 1 seed UNF (12-7, 7-0).
Singles play has the been the strength of FGCU’s turnaround from finishing in sixth place in 2011-12 to putting itself in position for a possible third place regular season showing this season. The top 3 spots in the lineup have all reached double figure wins, as sophomore Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC), junior Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) and sophomore Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS-FL) have combined for 37 singles victories. Bao leads the trio with six wins in A-Sun action, while both Vives and Tsamas have five in the seven matches. Senior Jackson Moore (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS/Georgia State) has moved into the No. 4 spot in league play, going 5-2.
Stetson’s 14 wins are a league-best, as two of its three losses and have come against ranked foes. The Hatters began the year 10-0, highlighted by a 5-2 victory over then-No. 56 St. John’s. Stetson’s hot start helped it break into the rankings at No. 71.
The match is slated for 10 a.m. with live stats available on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com and www.GOHATTERS.com.