The FGCU men’s tennis team (9-11) have advanced to the semifinals of the A-SUN Conference Tournament. The Eagles, who entered as the No. 3 seed, defeated the No. 6 seed NJIT (6-19) 4-1 in the quarterfinals. With the win, the Eagles are now 4-2 against the Highlanders.
“I thought today was a good day for us,” said head coach CJ Weber. “We took care of business in doubles and then in singles, we did what we’ve been trying to focus on. The conditions today were extremely tough, so you know you aren’t going to play your best tennis. It came down to attitude and when it came down to it, we were tough today.”
Beginning with doubles, the duo of juniors Ezequiel Cerrini and Mateo Ruiz defeated juniors Tomi Antoljak and Zac Castagna 6-1 at No. 2 doubles. The duo of senior Austin Bates and junior Felipe Escobar defeated senior Richard Rangga and sophomore Aleksa Petrovic 6-2 at No. 3 doubles, claiming the doubles point for the Eagles. Despite being up 5-2 at No. 1 doubles, senior Oliver Landert and sophomore Marcelo Tebet did not finish their match against freshman Abdullah Fouad and junior Lukas Zvikas.
Going into singles, Cerrini, at the No. 3 singles, would get a pair of 6-1 decisions as he defeated Zvikas for the first singles point for the Eagles. Landert would then follow Cerrini with a 6-3, 6-2 win over senior Jan Cimrman at the No. 2 singles for the Eagles’ third point.
With the score 3-0 in favor of the Eagles, the Highlanders would get their first and only point of the matchup as junior Javier Fernandez lost to Fouad by a score of 4-6, 2-6 to Fouad at No. 4 singles leaving it to three matches.
Fighting in a tiebreaker in the second set, Tebet, who played at the No. 5 singles, was able to seal the deal for the Eagles as the Brazil native defeated Castagna 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), thus helping the Eagles advance to the semifinals.
Ramirez and Bates did not finish their matches during the Eagles victory. Ramirez was ahead of Antoljak by a score of 3-6, 6-1, 4-0 at No. 1 singles while Bates was ahead of Rangga by a score of 6-4, 5-4 at No. 6 singles.
With the win, the Eagles will now be facing No. 2 seed Stetson, who received a first-round bye in the semifinals of the tournament.