The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s tennis team (6-2) is preparing for its home match against the University of Central Florida on Feb. 28.
The Eagles had two matches in Daytona Beach this weekend with mixed results. On Friday, they played Troy University (8-1) and lost 4-3, but battled back and won their match 6-1 against Bethune-Cookman University (1-4) on Saturday.
“Troy has a really good team,” Coach CJ Weber said. “I kind of compare our team to those guys. The guys were prepared but I don’t think we played our absolute best. It was a disappointing loss, but they [Troy] really showed up and took it to us and deserved the win.”
In the match against Troy, the team started the day by winning the doubles point. Senior Jordi Vives and Tianyu Bao defeated their Troy competitors 6-2. Juniors Ricky Ventura and Lucas Vaz secured the doubles point with a 6-3 win in their doubles match.
In singles play, the Eagles had a lot of close matches but were not able to obtain the win. Ventura and Vives each defeated their Troy competitors. Ventura won his match 6-3, 6-3 and Vives won his match 6-4, 7-5.
Junior Eduardo Alfonzo came close in his match against Troy’s Andy Lau. He won the first set 6-3 but lost the next two sets 2-6, 6-3. Bao lost his first set 1-6 but came back and won the second set 6-3 before losing the third set 6-1. Sophomore Andres Alfonzo came close in his match, but lost 7-6, 6-4 to Troy’s Gabriel Dias. Redshirt junior Michael Beiler also lost his match 6-4, 7-5.
The Eagles did not let the loss deter them in their match against Bethune-Cookman University on Saturday.
“The guys showed no sign of holding back at all,” Weber said. “The Troy match just motivated them more and we just took it to Bethune-Cookman. They were just relentless and that was our theme of the day against Bethune-Cookman, to just be relentless.”
The Eagles started the match by winning the doubles point. Bao and freshman Austin Bates defeated their competitors 6-4 and Ventura and Vaz won their match 6-3.
In singles, Andres Alfonzo won his match 6-2, 6-1 against Alexander Chepik. Ventura defeated his Bethune-Cookman competitor 6-4, 6-1. Bao beat Alvaro Barrera 6-4, 6-4 and Bates won his match 6-3, 7-5.
The team has an alumni match this weekend, but have two weeks until their next match against UCF.
“The whole season is a work in progress,” Weber said. “All the guys have little things they have been working on in their games… Right now we are focusing on getting rested. We have kind of been shoving a little bit with all the tennis we have been playing.”