Singles Action Lifts Eagles Past Ospreys
STATESBORO, Ga. Strong singles action propelled the Georgia Southern men’s tennis team to a 5-2 victory over the University of North Florida despite dropping the doubles point early on. The Eagles took their home opener Sunday afternoon at the Hanner Tennis Complex in a four and a half hour battle.
Georgia Southern moves to 1-1 on the season, while North Florida opened its season Sunday 0-1.
The Ospreys claimed the doubles point with victories at the two and three doubles seeds. Javier Ferrin and Adrian Escarate defeated Joris De Weerdt (Mortsel, Belgium) and Matthew Sands (Nassau, Bahamas) 8-2, to give North Florida its first doubles victory. Emmanuel Nkoueleue (Douala, Cameroon) and Borja Malet (Barcelona, Spain) cruised past Yuiti Lopes and Alejandro Argumedo at the one seed 8-4, to even the playing field. At court two, Philip Prins (Cape Town, South Africa) and Gregory Bekkers fought off seven match points in a grueling tiebreak before falling to Eduardo Pereira and Kurt Gattiker 9-8 (9).
The Eagles began singles action taking five of the first six sets from the Ospreys. UNF pushed its lead to 2-0 after Pereira defeated Malet in straight sets at the two seed. Pereira gave UNF its only singles victory during the contest. Within minutes of each other, Prins and De Weerdt made quick decisions over their opponents to tie the match at two-all. Prins ousted Lopes at the four seed 6-2, 6-3, while De Weerdt claimed a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Argumedo at the six seed. Freshman Mark Paetz (Munich, Germany) pushed Georgia Southern’s lead to 3-2 as he downed Graham Edgar in three sets 6-3, 0-6, 6-1, at the five seed.
Antwerp, Belgium native Gregory Bekkers clinched the match for the Eagles at the three seed in a hard fought straight set victory. The sophomore easily claimed the first set 6-4, from Gattiker, and took the lead in the second set 4-3. Gattiker fought back in the second, taking the lead 5-4. Bekkers broke Gattiker to tie the match at five-all. He then held serve and broke Gattiker again for the 12th game, claiming the second set 7-5, and clinching the match 4-2. Senior Nkoueleue defeated his opponent, Ferrin, at the one seed in a three set match. Nkoueleue’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory finalized the Eagles win 5-2 over the Ospreys.
Head coach Justin Miles was very pleased with his team’s win today. “It’s been a really long time since we’ve won a match after losing the doubles point,” said Miles. “A win like todays shows a lot of character and fight from our guys. It was a great win.”
The Eagles return to action February 2 facing off against USC Upstate in Atlanta, Ga. The match is slated for a 5 pm start.
Georgia Southern 5, University of North Florida 2
2. Eduardo Pereira/Kurt Gattiker (UNF) d. Philip Prins/Gregory Bekkers (GS) 9-8 (9) *
3. Javier Ferrin/Adrian Escarate (UNF) d. Joris De Weerdt/Matthew Sands (GS) 8-2
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
*Clinched the doubles point
1. Emmanuel Nkoueleue (GS) d. Javier Ferrin (UNF) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2. Eduardo Pereira (UNF) d. Borja Malet (GS) 6-1, 6-4
3. Gregory Bekkers (GS) d. Kurt Gattiker (UNF) 6-4, 7-5 *
4. Philip Prins (GS) d. Yuiti Lopes (UNF) 6-2, 6-3
5. Mark Paetz (GS) d. Graham Edgar (UNF) 6-3, 0-6, 6-1
6. Joris De Weerdt (GS) d. Alejandro Argumedo (UNF) 6-0, 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1
* Clinched the match
- Category: Men's Tennis
- Published on Sunday, 27 January 2008 00:24