Just a season ago, the ETSU men’s tennis team was one of the most experienced teams in the Southern Conference.
This fall, the team isn’t looking like the team from years past. Last season the team won 18 games with only six losses. More importantly, they didn’t suffer one loss in conference play.
Led by senior David Biosca (Sant Fruitos de Bage, Spain), the Buccaneers came into the ITA Division I Men’s Ohio Valley Regional Championship tournament looking for individual and team success. The tournament featured 128 rounds, and Biosca made it furthest for the Bucs, making it to the quarterfinals.
Ultimately, he lost to No. 57 ranked Ryan Peniston from the No. 40 ranked team in the country, the University of Memphis. Biosca won the first set but lost the following two sets. Up until the round of 16, Biosca was winning each match in two sets.
The only other players from ETSU to get nearly as far were sophomore Robert Herrera (Barcelona, Spain) and freshman Miguel Este (Venezuela), who’s only 17 years old. Both players made it to the round of 32 losing in two sets.
“I try to give the best of me,” Herrera said. “It’s always tough to play two or three tournaments in the spring with limited rest. The support we have for each other is great. I like to play for them rather than just me.”
The women’s team for the Buccaneers had a few players also participate in the tournament.
The women’s format is not too different in the tournament, but they start in the round of 64 instead of 128. Sophomore Marina Espana (Castellar Del Valles, Spain) got the furthest for the women making it to the round of 16. She lost to No. 12 Sydney Campbell (Franklin, Tenn) from the No. 5 ranked school in the country, Vanderbilt University.
The women were outstanding this past season, going 20-3 on the season and 6-1 in conference play. They return three players from last season who had a lot of game experience. The trio of Melissa Esguerra (Derrimutt, Australia), Espana and Ioanna Markesini (Athens, Greece) combined for 51-4. Now sophomore Espana went 19-0 just as a freshman. (?)
Though they didn’t get the results individually that they wanted, both teams showed a lot of promise going into the spring.
“Overall, I think we’re playing well,” said Head Coach Yaser Zaatini. “We’ve suffered injuries so we want to improve depth. … Being great teammates is the best thing we have right now.”