FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a match that witnessed three separate rain delays, the FGCU men's tennis team prevailed, claiming a 4-0 win over St. John's Thursday. The win marked the beginning of the 2016 dual season for FGCU, giving the Eagles a 1-0 record and pushing St. John's to 1-1. The win also marks the first time FGCU has started the dual season with a win under head coach CJ Weber.
"Today was a great opening match for us," Weber said. "St. John's competed well and this was a great test for us. We experienced a lot in this match that will help us this season. We look forward to this next weekend."
Rainy conditions forced the start of the season-opening doubles match to a 6 p.m. start instead of the originally scheduled 4 p.m. start. When the courts dried, the Eagles and Red Storm began doubles play at the FGCU Tennis Complex. FGCU and St. John's split the first two matches, with the Green and Blue claiming a victory at No. 3 doubles. The pairing of Chris Perrigan (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay HS) and Oliver Landert (Naples, Fla./Florida Virtual School/Florida) defeated Andrei Crapceno and Alex Roszkowski 6-2 just minutes after The Red Storm claimed a 6-0 win at No. 1 singles. The duo of Andres Alfonzo (Hollywood, Fla./Texas Christian University) and Eduardo Alfonzo (Hollywood, Fla./Barry University) had their five-match winning streak snapped, falling to Lucas Hejhal and Vaidik Munshaw who entered the weekend No. 4 in the Northeast Region.
With the doubles point on the line, Ricky Ventura (Barcelona, Spain/University of Barcelona) and Lucas Vaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Fleming/Tulsa) were up 3-2 early on Daniel Skripnik and Roberto Livi. The Red Storm duo broke serve and went in front 4-3, but the Eagles were up to the task, drawing level at 4-4 and again at 5-5. St. John's pulled ahead again at 6-5, but a boisterous home crowd helped the Eagles force a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak, Ventura and Vaz claimed a 7-6 (7-5) win to give FGCU a 1-0 lead in the match.
As singles play began, rain once again moved into the Fort Myers area, forcing a suspension in play during the first set. Play was suspended again as the courts moved into the second set. After the courts dried, Eduardo Alfonzo wrapped up a 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 3 singles and moments later his brother Andres earned a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles. The Eagles were on the brink of clinching a season-opening win when another brief period of rain disrupted play. Javier Fernandez (Ibiza, Spain/IES CTEIB) though did not hesitate when play resumed, clinching a 4-0 win with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 singles.
The Eagles travel to Tallahassee for a pair of matches beginning Sunday. FGCU will have a neutral match against No. 70 South Alabama Sunday at 10 a.m. followed with a Monday matinee against No. 31 Florida State.
No. 1 Lucas Hejhal (SJU) vs. Ricky Ventura – no result
No. 2 Andres Alfonzo def. Daniel Skripnik (SJU) 6-1, 6-4
No. 3 Eduardo Alfonzo def. Roberto Livi (SJU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 4 Vaidik Munshaw (SJU) vs. Oliver Landert – no result
No. 5 Andrei Crapcenco (SJU) vs. Ezequiel Cerini – no result
No. 6 Javier Fernandez def. Alex Roszkowski (SJU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 1 Hejhal/Munshaw (SJU) def. A. Alfonzo/E. Alfonzo 6-0
No. 2 Ventura/Vaz def. Skripnik/Livi 7-6 (7-5)
No. 3 Landert/Perrigan def. Crapcenco/Roszkowski (SJU) 6-2