After falling to Grand Canyon, the FGCU men’s tennis team (5-8) bounced back with a 4-3 win over visiting Illinois State (9-5).
“We’ve got a tough schedule this year, so we’re not having any pushover matches,” said FGCU head coach CJ Weber. “We’ve lost some close matches already this season, but we’ve tried to just not allow that to affect us and who we are. I was proud of the guys to come through after a tough loss yesterday.”
Beginning with doubles, the duo of juniors Ezequiel Cerrini and Mateo Ruiz defeated senior Andreas Boers and Pol Botifoll Ruis 6-4 on No. 2 doubles while the duo of senior Austin Bates and sophomore Felipe Ramirez defeated junior Egehan Sertkaya and freshman Cameron Petersen in No. 3 doubles, securing the doubles point for FGCU. The duo of senior Oliver Landert and sophomore Marcelo Tebet were ahead 5-3 over junior Igor Kolaric and senior Christoffer Greve but did not finish as the Eagles had secured the point.
Going into singles, the Redbirds tied the score after Ramirez fell 2-6, 0-6 to Kolaric before junior Javier Fernandez secured freshman Manuel Bernhard 7-6, 6-3 to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. The Redbirds retied the score after Tebet fell 6-7, 3-6 but Cerrini would bring the Eagles’ lead back with a 6-4, 7-6 win over Sertkaya.
“I’m certainly excited. It’s been a tough year so far,” said Cerrini. “I’m super excited for my first win of the year, and I am happy to have pulled through because it was a lot tougher in the end than I expected, sort of like my bad results sort of got to me a little bit, and I was happy I was strong enough to pull through.”
Ruiz was the player that got the Eagles the win as the Bucaramanga, Colombia native defeated Ruis 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. Landert fell in the final match as losing 6-2, 6-7, 5-7 to Greve.
“I think the good thing about our team is that we have a deep team,” Cerrini added. “Anybody can play any position. That also helps you a little bit because I know my teammates can move up if I move down, and I mean it’s good to move down and feel a little bit less pressure and try to get my game back.”
The Eagles will return to action on Mar. 25 as they host Princeton at 5 P.M. before continuing conference on the road against Lipscomb and Kennesaw State.