Late Match Victory Clinches the Eagles a Spot in Men’s Tennis ASUN Semifinals


Jessica Piland

Randy Wilson during the ASUN Quarterfinals against Stetson University on Friday April 14, 2023. (Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics)

NIck Asselin, Sports Editor

The FGCU Men’s Tennis team is moving on. The #1 seeded Eagles defeated Stetson 4-3 in the ASUN Quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals against Kennesaw State. 

The victory by the Eagles was their seventh straight win. Redshirt junior Randy Wilson clinched the victory for the Eagles when he defeated Stetson’s Ervin Haris Eminefen 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. The win showed the strength the Eagles have had all season.

“These guys have been really tough all year,” Coach CJ Weber said. “I think that we played a very tough and competitive schedule, so we’ve been in these situations a lot.”

This was FGCU’s third victory against Stetson this season. On March 2, the Eagles won 4-3 and won 5-2 on March 24. Weber believes this victory by the Eagles was their best against Stetson all season.

Men’s Tennis Coach CJ Weber watches one of the doubles matches during the ASUN Quarterfinals on Friday April 14, 2023. (Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics)

“I consider this our highest quality win this year against them,” Weber said. “Hats off to them. On a different day, they could easily beat us today. Our guys showed a ton of resiliency. About halfway through the singles it really felt like Stetson was going to win. In those moments I really felt from a few key guys that we were ready to dig our claws in and get the W.”

Weber is a large credit for the Eagles’ success this season. Weber earned ASUN Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time in his coaching career. Weber believes the award is a great reflection of his player’s commitment.

“I don’t ever want my identity to be about my accolades and things like that,” Weber said. “This year, this award really means a lot to me because I don’t see that award as a reflection of who I am, I see it as a reflection of who my players are.”

Wilson says being in the position to win the match in an important scenario is something he will forever cherish. After dropping the first set, Wilson needed to come back and win the next two in order to get the Eagles to advance.

“I just love this team environment,” Wilson said. “I’m definitely going to miss it. These are moments I really, really cherish and always have in my memory. Clinching a big match like this, having my teammates, being home and having the FGCU community support FGCU Tennis. I love that so much.” 

Wilson was also a part of the doubles victory with redshirt junior Magnus Johnson. The duo defeated Stetson’s Lucas Olivier and Marc Saura in dominating fashion, 6-1. Johnson earned ASUN Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. 

Men’s tennis coach CJ Weber speaking with players Eric Oncins (left) and Carter Bradford (center) during a break in their double match against Stetson on Friday April 14, 2023. (Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics)

During Wilson’s final singles match, the entire FGCU team stood nearby supporting him. Wilson says the support he’s received from his teammates has been crucial to their success.

“I feel like this year we grew more as a team,” Wilson said. “We really are working as a unit and to just hear each and every guy support each other during the matches.”

On April 21, the Eagles will face #5 seed Kennesaw State in the ASUN Semifinals in Jacksonville. It’s the first time the Eagles will face Kennesaw State this season. A victory would earn them a spot in the ASUN Championship for the fourth season in a row.