FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team lost the doubles point but rallied back to win four of six singles matches to defeat Mercer, 4-3, on Thursday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
FGCU improves to 5-4 (2-0 A-Sun) on the season and Mercer falls to 3-6 (0-1 A-Sun).
“Each match we continue to learn more about ourselves,” said first-year head coach C.J. Weber. “Mercer competed very well today and really took it to us in doubles. It was great that we responded in singles play to get our first team win after losing the doubles point.”
The Green and Blue lost two of the three doubles matches to fall behind 1-0 in the match. At No. 1 doubles, freshman Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS) and junior Jackson Moore (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS/Georgia State) fell to David Barton and Victor Dias, 8-3. At No. 3 doubles, the Bears clinched the point with a 8-5 win as Vincent DeLise and Joao Pagan defeated junior Collin Brown (Victoria, Texas/Memorial HS) and sophomore Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS).
In the final doubles match, Senior Matthew Rock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Fort Lauderdale HS/Jacksonville) and sophomore Lance Lvovsky (Dania,Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) defeated Pierre Tafelski and Peter Tauchner, 8-6, at No. 2 doubles.
In singles, Tsamas started the comeback with a straight sets victory against Pagan, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3 singles and improves to 7-2 in dual matches.
The Bears took a 2-1 lead after Barton defeated Rock, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 4 singles. The Eagles tied the match at 2-2 after Lvovsky won against DeLise, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 5 singles and improves to 6-3 in dual matches.
“I had a really tight match and I was happy that I was able to pull it out in straight sets,” said Lvovsky. “It feels awesome to win a really close match against a team like Mercer. Our team competed exceptionally well and once more we proved that we are the tougher team.”
Freshman Michael Beiler (Palm Harbor, Fla./Dunedin HS) rallied back twice in his match against Dias to win in straight sets, 7-5, 7-5. Beiler is 2-0 in conference play and gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead in the match.
Moore earned the clinching point for FGCU with a tough three-set win against Tauchner, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Moore came back to win the final two sets to give the Eagles the victory.
In the final match, Bao fell just short in a third set super tiebreaker to Tafelski, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (12-10). Bao won the second set tiebreaker 7-5 and had two match points in the super tiebreaker but fell 12-10.
The Green and Blue head to Spartanburg, S.C. to face USC-Upstate on Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m. The Eagles finish the weekend road trip against ETSU on Saturday, March 24 at 11 a.m. in Johnson City, Tenn.
Results and recaps will be available on www.FGCUathletics.com after each match this season.
FGCU 4, MERCER 3
1. Pierre Tafelski (MER) def. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (12-10)
2. Jackson Moore (FGCU) def. Peter Tauchner (MER) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
3. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) def. Joao Pagan (MER) 6-1, 6-1
4. David Barton (MER) def. Matthew Rock (FGCU) 6-3, 6-1
5. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) def. Vincent DeLise (MER) 6-4, 6-3
6. Michael Beiler (FGCU) def. Victor Dias (MER) 7-5, 7-5
1. David Barton/Victor Dias (MER) def. Tianyu Bao/Jackson Moore (FGCU) 8-3
2. Lance Lvovsky/Matthew Rock (FGCU) def. Pierre Tafelski/Peter Tauchner (MER) 8-6
3. Vincent DeLise/Joao Pagan (MER) def. Dean Tsamas/Collin Brown (FGCU) 8-5
MERCER 3-6 (0-1 A-Sun)
FGCU 5-4 (2-0 A-Sun)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,4,5,6,2,1)