ORLANDO, Fla. The FGCU men’s tennis team (3-4, 2-0 ASUN) closed its conference opening weekend with a 6-1 win over Kennesaw State (4-9, 0-1 ASUN) on Saturday afternoon at the USTA National Campus. The game, which was originally scheduled to be played at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center in DeLand, was rescheduled due to rain on Friday night. With the result, the Eagles achieved their first neutral victory of the 2021 season.
In addition to the excitement of opening conference play with two wins in as many days, the Eagles’ win marks the head coach’s 100th. CJ Weber‘s career. Since joining the Green & Blue in 2011, Weber has coached 32 All-ASUN selections and guided the Eagles to each of their three NCAA Tournament appearances (2015, ’17, ’19). He has been named ASUN Coach of the Year three times and has a record of 40-18 against opponents in the league.
“Today was another fight,” said head coach CJ Weber said. “There were very unique conditions, not only with the weather but also with the ride after the change of location. We did what we had to do to get the race in and I was very proud of my boys for putting their effort into the whole race. Kennesaw came along Really tough, especially in singles, but we were very resilient and closed the game strong It was a team effort but Juan (Montes) played the best tennis of the day I’m very proud of him that he was able to recover from his previous injury and play as he did. “
For the second day in a row, the Eagles started the game by securing the double play point, this time with back-to-back wins on the second and third field. The redshirt junior duo Juan Montes (Pereira, Colombia / Colegio Lujan) and sophomore Pedro Maciel (Belo Horizonte, Brazil / Goliath Academy) brought in a 6-3 win in second place, while the pair were sophomores Max Damm (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephens Episcopal School) and redshirt freshmen Magnus Johnson (Naples, Fla./Homeschool/UCF) put the finishing touches on a 6-1 victory on the third lane to give FGCU the early lead.
Johnson continued to score in singles, taking a straight win over first place to extend Green and Blue’s lead to 2-0. The Owls responded by taking lane three, but the run was all the team could secure while the Eagles continued to win the victories.
Montes was the only other player to beat his Kennesaw State competitor in straight sets to take a 6-4, 6-3 on court No. 2. Freshman Alessandro Conca (Milan, Italy / ISMC Milano), redshirt freshman Guglielmo Stefanacci (Prato, Italy / International School of Florence) and redshirt senior Feliksas Sakalauskas (Palanga, Lithuania / Vilniaus Zveryno Gimnazija / Virginia Tech) all achieved triumphs in the third set on the fourth, fifth and sixth track respectively.
With the wins, the Eagles have emerged as the leaders of the ASUN South Divisional standings. The team’s next game is back at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Saturday, March 27 against Stetson at 1pm.
1. Magnus Johnson (FGCU) def. Sebastian Osorio (KSUM) 6-2, 6-4
2. Juan Montes (FGCU) def. Sergio Ingles (KSUM) 6-4, 6-3
3. Raul Garcia (KSUM) defeats. Randy Wilson (FGCU) 6-4, 6-3
4. Alessandro Conca (FGCU) def. Kevin Patel (KSUM) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Gugli Stefanacci (FGCU) defeats. Seru Tezuka (KSUM) 1-6, 6-4, 6-1
6. Feliksas Sakalauskas (FGCU) def. Harvey Conway (KSUM) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3
Order of arrival: (1, 3, 2, 5, 6, 4)
1. Sergio Ingles / Seru Tezuka (KSUM) vs. Felipe Ramirez/ Feliks Sakalauskas (FGCU) 5-3, unfinished
2. Juan MontesPedro Maciel (FGCU) def. Harvey Conway / Raul Garcia (KSUM) 6-3
3. Max DammMagnus Johnson (FGCU) def. Kevin Patel / Sebastian Osorio (KSUM) 6-1
Order of arrival: (2, 3)
South division stand
1. FGCU (3-4, 2-0 ASUN)
2. Stetson (2-4, 0-0 ASUN)
3. Kennesaw State (4-9, 0-1ASUN)
4. UNF (3-8, 0-1 ASUN)
Stand of the North Division
1. Freedom (10-5, 1-0 ASUN)
2. Lipscomb (4-4, 0-0 ASUN)
3. Bellarmine (2-8, 0-0 ASUN)
4. North Alabama (2-9, 0-1 ASUN)
Friday, March 19
Liberty 7, North Alabama 0
FGCU 5, UNF 2
Saturday March 20
FGCU 6, Kennesaw State 1
Sunday March 21
Bellarmine in North Alabama 11am
Liberty at Lipscomb 3pm
Follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_MTen and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com for a full coverage of FGCU men’s tennis. You can also sign up to receive news about FGCUmen’s tennis or other programs delivered straight to your inbox by going to www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
FGCU is led by three-time ASUN Coach of the YearCJ Weberwho has coached 32 ASUN All-Conference selections since joining the Green and Blue in 2011. In his seventh year, Weber has a 100-85 (.541) overall record and a 40-18 (.672) record in ASUN play. In 2014-15, Weber led the Eagles to their first-ever ASUN Championship and first-ever ASUN Regular Season title after a program-best 17 wins. In his third season, Weber led Jordi Vives to a No. 35 national rankings, an unbeaten streak of 14 games and the round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA tournament – the program’s first appearance. The Eagles completed a perfect ASUN regular season in both 2015 and 2016, finishing with conference titles and a Coach of the Year award for Weber. FGCU again won the 2017 ASUN Championship and made its second NCAA appearance. The Eagles returned to the mountaintop by claiming the regular season and 2019 tournament championships. Weber earned his third ASUN Coach of the Year award, leading the Green and Blue to their third trip to the NCAA Tournament.
IT TAKES A TEAMto achieve our latest goal – a $ 10 million campaign to meet the needs of student athletes for continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition and strength and conditioning, as well as departmental expansion needs and improvement of facilities, as well as mentorship and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and purpose of the EAGLE campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence.Join our team andpromise your gift todayto help the Eagles of tomorrow!
FGCUAthletics sponsors events in November and April for the benefit of the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCUAthletics’ favorite charities. For more information, including how to contribute, please visitwww.fgcu.edu/foodpantryand use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 84 regular season conferences and tournament titles in just 13 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 40 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Seven FGCU programs achieved top-25 national rankings in their respective sports in 2018, including both men’s and women’s football. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue achieved a division-top sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 nationally, for several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles held an ASUN and Florida state’s top seven teams earned the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their academic advancement in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.43 GPA in class in the Spring 2020 semester and overall University student population for 22 consecutive semesters. The Eagles also served a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 and were recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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