Sunday, March 4, 2012

Record Crowd Cheers FGCU Men's Tennis to Conference Lead

Record-setting spectators at FGCU
all Photos by JR 
The Fort Myers tennis community came through for the Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) Men’s Tennis Team on Thursday night, setting the attendance record for the season with 207 spectators. Among the spectators who came to show their support were several local USPTA Tennis Professionals. 

USPTA Pros in attendance:
Jeff Timmer, Alex Hermeto,
T. A. Niles
The team also came through for the fans, bringing its home match record to 3-2 with a win over  Atlantic Sun Conference (ASC)  opponent Kennesaw State in the team’s first ever night match.

The team’s evened its overall 2012 record at 3-3, but the match on Thursday was its inaugural ASC match, so the Eagles are tied for the conference lead at 1-0. I’m not sure if FGCU’s Men’s Tennis has held a conference lead before.

In any event, the FGCU Eagles got off to a very nice start in doubles with all three teams taking at least 6-3 leads in the eight-game pro-set matches. The No.3 team of Junior Collin Brown and sophomore Dean Tsamas closed out their match without much ado (8-4), but things tightened up considerably on Courts 1 & 2.

Jackson Moore & Tianju Bao
On Court 2, Freshman Tianyu Bao and junior Jackson Moore saw their lead evaporate when Moore was broken at 6-5. However, the Eagles broke right back to go up 7-6 and held on with Bao serving out the final game for the 8-6 victory.

Lance Lvovsky & Matt Rock
Things became even more precarious on Court 1, as Senior Matthew Rock and sophomore Lance Lvovsky’s lead morphed into a 6-7 deficit. Showing some fine mettle, the boys in green and blue battled back, holding serve to reach the tiebreak at 7-7, and dominating the breaker 7-2.

The doubles sweep, the second of the season, and only the second in FGCU Men’s Tennis history, gave the Eagles a confidence that they carried into the singles. Tsamas picked up his fifth consecutive singles victory against one loss, posting a straight-set win at No.3, to push the FGCU point-lead to 2-0. Lvovsky then dropped a straight-setter at No.5 to make it 2-1 Eagles.

One of FGCU’s two fabulous freshmen, Michael Beiler at No. 6, made the tally 3-1 Eagles, by taking the first set 6-2, then fighting back from a 5-6 deficit in the second to reach, and then take the tiebreak 7-5. The other freshmen on the roster, Tianyu Bao, playing at No.1, won two hard-fought sets (7-6, 7-5) to clinch the match for the Eagles.

Jackson Moore
In the other two matches, Moore lost a three-setter (6-2, 2-6, 6-4) at No. 2 singles, and Rock gutted out a third-set super-tiebreak 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (12-10). According to the report on the Eagles website, “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.”
Coach Weber leading the way
The Eagles take on Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Wednesday, March 7th at 1pm and University of Pennsylvania on Friday, March 9th at 9am. Coach C. J. Weber is looking forward to more record crowds this season, and to seeing you this weekend at the Inaugural "FGCU-nion" (see "coming soon..." blog for more info).

If you would like to know more about the Men's Tennis program, there's a wealth of info, including schedule, roster, and results on the team’s website. I'm looking forward to seeing you at some home matches this season. Game, set, match...T A

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