ATHENS, Ga. – Bringing a close to an incredible season that saw 35 wins and five awards, FGCU men’s tennis junior No. 45 Jordi Vives fell in a tough three-set match to Vanderbilt’s No. 59 Ryan Lipman in Thursday’s NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship round of 32 at the University of Georgia.
Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) ends his second campaign for the Eagles with an overall record of 35-5 after going 21-3 this spring. The Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year was the first from FGCU to qualify for the NCAA Championship and the first to receive an ITA national ranking.
“Ryan did a great job of staying focused and playing disciplined tennis,” head coach C.J. Weber said. “He certainly finished the match playing better. Jordi had spurts of great play but couldn’t maintain his level throughout the course of the match.”
To start the match, Vives dropped his first serve to give Lipman an early advantage. With Lipman leading, 3-2, Vives broke back to knot the opening set at three all. Each player held his own for the next few games, but that tempo didn’t last long as Vives completely controlled play in the end of the first set. After taking his final serve with a win at 40-love to bring the score to 6-5, the junior cranked out the overall victory after breaking Lipman to find triumph at 7-5.
Unfortunately for the Green and Blue’s leading player, the momentum he ended the opening set with didn’t carry over into the second as he suffered a quick 6-2 loss, which would force the match into a deciding third set.
The final set was more of the same as an early break from Lipman put him up, 3-1, before continuing on to collect the overall win at 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
“Ryan played better than I did and he deserved to win,” Vives said. “While I didn’t have my best day out there, he executed and that’s all there is to it. I want to thank everyone who has supported me this season and this week especially. Walking on the court of the biggest tournament in college tennis knowing that your entire school is with you is just awesome.”
The accomplishments of the Barcelona native this season have elevated FGCU’s men’s tennis program to a new level. Vives will return for his senior season and will continue to bring success to The Nest through both his talent on the court and high-quality of his personal character.
“This was a magical season for Jordi,” Weber said. “I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s given me, his teammates and everyone associated with the program. Without a doubt he is the classiest guy in the entire country and I couldn’t be more honored to coach him. I can’t wait until next season!”
Round of 64
No. 45 Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. No. 114 Philippe Tsangaridis (Coastal Carolina) – 6-4, 6-3
Round of 32
No. 59 Ryan Lipman def. No. 45 Jordi Vives (FGCU) – 5-7, 6-2, 6-3