Alison Smalling/ERAU Athletics
Just three days after moving into the No. 24 spot in the ITA/NCAA II national rankings, the Embry-Riddle men’s tennis team earned one of the biggest wins in program history, downing top-ranked, defending NCAA Division II national champion Barry 6-3, Saturday at the Crotty Tennis Complex.
The win was only the Eagles’ second over the Buccaneers in 13 meetings and improved ERAU’s overall record to 4-1, while Barry suffered their first loss in the 32 matches to move
to 5-1 with the loss.
“I was really proud of the guys today,” ERAU Head Coach Dave Paschal said. “What a great team effort. I think it was on the top five matches I’ve ever seen our team play. There was a great energy and positivity between the courts and that just helped us play better. Hopefully we’ll learn from that and grow. It’s a big win when you beat the No. 1 team in the country and we’re pretty excited right now. The guys did a great job.”
The Buccaneers earned their first point of the day when the third flight doubles team of Fabian Pronett and Daniel Ventura topped Mickael Faucher and Rodolfo Arreygue 8-1.
On court two, Fabian Zierleyn and Carlos Becke led for most of the match until Nico Dreer and Lucas Kogachi registered a hold and a break to go up 7-6.
Becke held on the Eagle’s next service game and then the ERAU duo recorded a break of its own to go up 8-7. With Zierleyn serving, the Eagles dropped just one point in the game to take the match 9-7 and tie the team score at 1-1.
Deni Zmak and Juan Ortiz Couder got an early break against Franco Echenique and Ahmed Triki but the Barry pair quickly broke back and led until the Eagles broke again to go up 5-4.
From that point, Ortiz Couder and Zmak never relinquished the lead and won 8-6 to give the Blue and Gold a 2-1 edge heading into singles.
Fabian Pronnet pulled the Buccaneers level with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles, but Luke de Caires defeated Tahirovic 7-5, 6-0 at the sixth spot and Becke followed with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Ventura on court three to put the Eagles back in front 4-2.
Playing at the fifth spot in the lineup, Ortiz Couder fell behind 4-1 in the first frame, but the freshman won five games in a row to take the set.
Up 3-2 in the second, he earned a break to go up 4-2 but Echenique broke back to make it 4-3. On Echenique’s next service game, Ortiz Couder recorded another break and held serve to win the match 6-4 and clinch the upset for the Eagles.
The final match off the court was between Zierleyn and Dreer at the second position. Zierleyn also came back from a 4-1 deficit to take his first set 7-6 (7-5).
THe ERAU senior stumbled in the second set 6-2, but easily downed Dreer 6-1 in the third to close out the match. The Eagles will be back in action on March 4 when they travel to Melbourne to take on Florida Tech at noon.
Tennis Match Results:
Barry vs Embry-Riddle
Feb 27, 2016 at Daytona Beach, Fla.
(Crotty Tennis Complex) #24 Embry-Riddle 6, #1 Barry 3
1. Ahmed Triki (BARRY-M) def. Deni Zmak (ERAUMT15) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Fabian Zierleyn (ERAUMT15) def. Nico Dreer (BARRY-M) 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-1
3. Carlos Becke (ERAUMT15) def. Daniel Ventura (BARRY-M) 6-2, 6-2
4. Fabian Pronnet (BARRY-M) def. Rodolfo Arreygue (ERAUMT15) 6-0, 6-3
5. Juan Ortiz Couder (ERAUMT15) def. Franco Echenique (BARRY-M) 6-4, 6-3
6. Luke de Caires (ERAUMT15) def. Ajdin Tahirovic (BARRY-M) 7-5, 6-0
1. Deni Zmak/Juan Ortiz Couder (ERAUMT15) def. Ahmed Triki/Franco Echenique (BARRY-M) 8-6
2. Fabian Zierleyn/Carlos Becke (ERAUMT15) def. Nico Dreer/Lucas Kogachi (BARRY-M) 9-7
3. Fabian Pronnet/Daniel Ventura (BARRY-M) def. Rodolfo Arreygue/Mickael Faucher (ERAUMT15) 8-1
Barry 5-1; National ranking #1
Embry-Riddle 4-1; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,6,3,5,1,2)
Ortiz Couder clinched at No. 5 singles.