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Men's Tennis Travels to Georgia and Opens Big South Play Hosting Gardner-Webb

       

Men's Tennis Travels to Georgia and Opens Big South Play Hosting Gardner-Webb

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The Coastal Carolina University men’s tennis team travels to the Peach State for two matches starting with Mercer Thursday, Feb. 12, followed by a meeting with Georgia Southern Friday, Feb. 13. The Chanticleers will open Big South play at home Sunday, Feb. 15, welcoming new conference foe Gardner-Webb at 2:30 p.m. Coastal Carolina fell 6-1 to Radford in its conference opener last season. The Chants have posted a 4-0 record this year, which includes two 7-0 sweeps against Coker and Mount Olive.

 

SCOUTING THE COMPETITION

 

Match #5: Mercer Bears

2:30 p.m.Augusta, Ga.

Overall: 1-0

Head Coach: Nick Stustman

Bears at a Glance: Mercer defeated Alabama State 7-0 in its only match of the season. Mercer finished with an overall record of 4-19 last year. The Bears have three key returnees from last season in Fernando Armendaris, Matthew Poleon and Justin Wimpee. It was no surprise the trio occupied the top three singles positions in the opening match with the Hornets and each cruised to straight set victories. In doubles play, the Bears used Dave Barton and Victor Dias at No. 1 and Mark Worsham and Jaron Bergeron at No. 2 to clinch the doubles point against the Hornets.  

Series vs. Mercer: The Chanticleers have met with the Bears three times since 1996. Coastal Carolina won the last meeting in 2006 4-3, while Mercer nabbed the previous two matches and hold a slim 2-1 edge over the Chanticleers.

 

Match #6: Georgia Southern Eagles

2:30 p.m. - Hanner Tennis Complex - Statesboro, Ga.

Overall: 3-0

Head Coach: Justin Miles

Eagles at a Glance: The Eagles will close a four-match homestand against the Chanticleers after starting the season with three straight wins. Joris DeWeerdt will likely be at No. 1 with Gregory Bekkers at No. 2. Jayraj Jadeja has floated between No. 1 and No. 3, while Justin Flynn has been a solid No. 4 for the Eagles, posting two victories to clinch two matches for Georgia Southern. The Eagles are 19-2 overall in singles with both losses coming at the No. 3 slot.

Series vs. Georgia Southern: When the Chants meet the Eagles Friday, it will be the first meeting between the two teams in 10 years. These two squads last met in 1999, where Georgia Southern claimed a 6-0 victory over the Chants.

 

Match #7: Gardner-Webb Bulldogs

2 p.m.Billy Nichols Tennis Center – Conway, S.C.

Overall: 1-5

Head Coach: Mike Griffith

Bulldogs at a Glance: The Bulldogs have played two ranked opponents in No. 26 Wake Forest and No. 44 Indiana and start conference play with a 1-5 overall record. Gardner-Webb’s only victory of the season was a 7-0 sweep of North Greenville. The Bulldogs have a dependable No. 1 in Evgeny Slesarev, who is 6-0 in singles play after posting a 16-6 singles record in 2008 and earned a spot on the Atlantic-Sun All-Conference First Team. From the No. 2-6 singles positions, the Bulldogs have used a variety of players, including Andrew Vedder and Rafael Altmayer, who have played at No. 2 and No. 3. Gardner-Webb was picked to finish fourth in the Big South.

Series vs. Gardner-Webb: The Bulldogs are new to the Big South this season, but they are familiar to the Chants having played against each other for the past four years. Coastal Carolina leads the series 3-1 (since 2005), but dropped last year’s meeting 4-3 as they surrendered the doubles point to the Bulldogs.

 

CHANTICLEER BREAK POINTS

 

Straight set victories drive Chants past Coker

The Chanticleers earned six straight-set victories in singles and only dropped three games in doubles play to blow past Coker 7-0 Tuesday, Feb. 3 at the Billy Nichols Tennis Center.

 

Doubles Point Claims 4-3 Victory at Campbell

The Coastal Carolina University men’s tennis team did not waste any time getting its first victory of the dual-match season in a thrilling 4-3 win over Campbell Friday, Jan. 30 at the Nesbett Tennis Center. The win marks the Chanticleers’ first win in Buies Creek since the 1999 season. The Chants won their opening match for the third-straight year.

 

Three’s a Charm

The Chanticleers won their third-consecutive season opener with a 4-3 win at Campbell. In 2007, Coastal Carolina opened the year with a 7-0 sweep of Mount Olive and repeated the victory to open the 2008 season.

 

Chants Picked Third in Big South Preseason Poll

Coastal Carolina was picked to finish third in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll by the league’s head coaches, it was announced Thursday, Jan. 15. The defending Big South Conference champion Radford received six first-place votes and 48 out of a possible 49 points to repeat in 2009. Radford finished ahead of Winthrop, who received one first-place vote and 41 points. Coastal Carolina finished third in the voting with 34 points, while Gardner-Webb captured the fourth spot with 25 points. Liberty was picked fifth with 24 points, followed by UNC Asheville (17) and Presbyterian (6).

 

Withers Leading the Way

Senior Joseph Withers was named captain of the 2009 squad for the second-straight year. Withers paired up with sophomore John Hairston for the best doubles record at 13-6 and finished 10-8 overall in singles play.

 

New Kids on the Block

After the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s men’s tennis team was discontinued after the 2008 season, Coastal Carolina men’s tennis Head Coach Chris Powers jumped at the opportunity to get more experience on his squad. Joining the 2009 Chanticleers are senior German Perez and sophomore Dorian Sovic. Perez finished 12-12 in singles and 14-7 in doubles play last season, while Sovic closed out his freshman year going 12-6 in singles and a 14-7 doubles action.

 

No Freshman?

That’s right! The 2009 Coastal Carolina men’s tennis team has no freshmen listed on its roster. Two transfers, senior German Perez and sophomore Dorian Sovic from Arkansas-Little Rock are the only newcomers to the squad this season. 

 

It's All Academic

Coastal Carolina received its ninth straight ITA All-Academic Team selection in 2008. In order to be considered for the award, teams must have a 3.2 GPA or higher. Last year, the Chants posted a 3.6 team GPA. Senior David Mellis and sophomores Ernesto Ramos, Dmitry Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov were named ITA Scholar-Athletes, which requires student-athletes to have at least a 3.5 GPA.

 

The Fall in a Nutshell

The Chanticleers completed fall play with a 52-32 record.

Coastal Carolina Fall Shootout:

The Coastal Carolina University men’s tennis team went 17-5 in its own Fall Shootout Sept. 13 at the Billy Nichols Tennis Center. Junior Ernesto Ramos and sophomore Dorian Sovic both went 2-0 in singles play, while the Chanticleer doubles teams were 7-1. Junior Plamen Tzvetkov and classmate Dimitry Vlaskin both won a match in the Alpha Singles Flight.

UNC Invitational:

Sophomore Dorian Sovic won the C-1 singles title, leading the Coastal Carolina University men's tennis team to a 16-10 record at the 2008 University of North Carolina Invitational (Sept. 26-28).

Sergio Tacchini Collegiate Invitational:

Two doubles titles for the Coastal Carolina University men's tennis team highlighted the Sergio Tacchini Collegiate Invitational (Oct. 10-12) hosted by Old Dominion. Ernesto Ramos and German Perez won the A-1 doubles flight, while Dmitry Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov took home the B-2 doubles flight title. The Chants finished 15-9 overall in singles and 5-2 in doubles action.

ITA Mideast Regional:

The Chants had one of their best outings at the ITA Mideast Regionals Friday, Oct. 17 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Junior Dmitry Vlaskin defeated Andre Bubkov from UNC Greensboro 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the Round of 64 in the main draw, while duo Vlaskin and Plamen Tzvetkov and Ernesto Ramos and German Perez paired up and competed in the doubles main draw.