The top-seeded FGCU men’s tennis team (17-5) won its first-ever Atlantic Sun Championship by a 4-3 score over North Florida (17-7) Monday morning at the North Florida Tennis Complex in Jacksonville.
The match came down to the wire as it was tied at three all with Ricky Ventura still playing in the No. 3 slot. After cruising to a 6-1 win in the first set, the junior stayed focused and defeated Julian Bradley by a 6-4 count in the second set to clinch the victory for the Eagles.
FGCU advances to its first team NCAA Championship appearance beginning on May 8.
After the most successful season since joining NCAA Division I ranks in 2007-08, six members of the team collected eight Atlantic Sun Conference postseason honors last week, highlighted by senior Jordi Vives repeating as A-Sun Player of the Year. Head coach C.J. Weber also was named A-Sun Coach of the Year.
Vives was also named to First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Conference for doubles play. Senior co-captain Michael Beiler and junior Ricky Ventura were also named to First Team All-Conference.
Making the Second Team All-Conference for the Eagles was senior co-captain Tianyu Bao and freshman Austin Bates, who was also named to the All-Freshman Team. Rounding out the accolades for the Eagles was junior Eduardo Alfonzo, who was named to the Second Team All-Conference for doubles play.
Weber guided the team to a program-best 15 wins and a perfect 6-0 mark in the A-Sun to claim the A-Sun regular season title.
FGCU’s six individuals honored are the most in the A-Sun with Stetson and Kennesaw State closely behind with five.
“What an incredible honor for all the guys to have their team effort this year recognized by these individual honors,” Weber said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this bunch.”
Vives was named A-Sun Player of the Year after a perfect 6-0 mark in A-Sun singles play and an A-Sun-best 17-2 spring dual-season record, all from the No. 1 slot. The Spaniard is also 5-1 in A-Sun doubles play which awarded him the Second Team All-Conference honor. Vives has been named A-Sun Player of the Week three times this season (Feb. 11, Mar. 11 and Apr. 13). The senior is the winningest DI singles player in program history and currently owns 120 overall victories (46 doubles, 74 singles). Vives is now a three-time A-Sun First-Team All-Conference member and six-time A-Sun Player of the Week winner.
For more information, go to http://www.fgcuathletics.com.