FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Matthew Rock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Fort Lauderdale HS/Jacksonville) won a tight match in the third set super tiebreaker, 10-7 but the FGCU men’s tennis team fell just short on Senior Day against Stetson, 5-2 on Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
FGCU falls to 6-8 (3-4 A-Sun) on the season and Stetson improves to 14-4 (5-2 A-Sun). The Eagles need to win at least one more match to clinch a spot in the A-Sun tournament.
“Today was a tough day,” said first-year head coach C.J. Weber. “The guys put forth a great effort, but we just could not pull out the close sets that we needed to in order to win the match. I couldn’t be happier for Rock today, who played some great tennis and can’t think of a better way to go out on your Senior Day.”
The Green and Blue lost all three doubles matches to fall behind 1-0 in the match. At No. 3 doubles, juniors Collin Brown (Victoria, Texas/Memorial HS) and Jackson Moore (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch HS/Georgia State) fell to Didrik Berg and Nathan Debut, 8-2. At No. 2 doubles, the Hatters clinched the point with a 8-6 win as Maksim Levanovich and Chester Espie defeated the freshmen team of Michael Beiler (Palm Harbor, Fla./Dunedin HS) and Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS).
In the final doubles match, Rock and sophomore Lance Lvovsky (Dania,Fla./Broward Virtual School/Jacksonville) battled to a tough 8-7, (7-5) loss against Hans Adrian Riseng and Njal Stene, at No. 1 doubles.
In singles, Stetson took a 3-0 lead after wins at No. 3 and No. 6 singles. Berg won in straight sets against sophomore Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS), 6-4, 6-4, at No. 3 and Beiler fell to Espie, 6-2, 7-5, at No. 6.
The Hatters clinched the victory when Debut took down Lvovsky, 6-0, 7-6 (7-0), at No. 5 singles. Lvovsky battled to a second set tiebreaker but fell 7-0 in the breaker.
Bao picked up his second win over a ranked opponent after defeating Levanovich, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (11-9), at No. 1 singles. Bao won the super tiebreaker 11-9 and ended Levanovich’s six-match conference winning streak.
In the final match, Rock outlasted Adrian Riseng, 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7), at No. 4 singles. Rock rallied back after dropping the first set to win the final two sets, 7-5 and 10-7 in the super tiebreaker.
“It was great to be able to honor Steve (Binninger) and Rock on their last home match of their career,” said Weber. “They have both made FGCU very proud and I will be honored for them to join our tennis alumni.”
The Green and Blue head to the Music City to end the season on the road against Lipscomb and Belmont on Friday, April 13 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. in Nashville, Tenn.
Results and recaps will be available on www.FGCUathletics.com after each match this season.
Stetson 5, FGCU 2
1. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) def. #113 Maksim Levanovich (STET) 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (11-9)
2. Njal Stene (STET) def. Jackson Moore (FGCU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Didrik Berg (STET) def. Dean Tsamas (FGCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. Matthew Rock (FGCU) def. Hans Adrian Riseng (STET) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7)
5. Nathan Debut (STET) def. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 6-0, 7-6 (7-0)
6. Chester Espie (STET) def. Michael Beiler (FGCU) 6-2, 7-5
1. Hans Adrian Riseng/Njal Stene (STET) def. Matthew Rock/Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) 8-7 (7-5)
2. Maksim Levanovich/Chester Espie (STET) def. Michael Beiler/Tianyu Bao (FGCU) 8-6
3. Didrik Berg/Nathan Debut (STET) def. Jackson Moore/Collin Brown (FGCU) 8-2
Stetson 14-4, 5-2 A-Sun
FGCU 6-8, 3-4 A-Sun
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,6,5,2,1,4)