Florida Gulf Coast 5, Eckerd 1

May 6, 2005

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- The Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University (19-4) sailed to their first ever win in NCAA Tournament play with a 5-1 victory over Eckerd (17-7) in the opening round of the Southeast Region-1 Mens Tennis Tournament on Friday afternoon.

The Eagles emerged from doubles play with a 2-1 advantage and fought to three tough victories in singles play to clinch the win. "Eckerds a very good team and we knew we were rusty," said Florida Gulf Coast head coach J. Webb Horton. "They came at us pretty good."

Gulf Coasts Seth Fogelman and Alberto Gutierrez earned the Eagles first point in doubles with an 8-3 win over Sanjar Shodiev and Andre Mittag at the third flight. Juan Carlos Osorio and Tim Offerman followed suit with an 8-3 victory over Eckerds Javier Romero-Barrio and Elmar Koenig at number two. Sebastian Niedermayer and Nikola Vujovic claimed the third doubles point for Eckerd with an 8-5 win over Jose Pastrello and Richard Stempnowski.

In singles play, Fogelman was the first to put a point in the Eagles win column with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at number six to put Florida Gulf Coast up 3-1. Offerman pushed the advantage to 4-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Byron Kidd in the fifth slot. Osorio locked up the win for Gulf Coast with a three set victory (0-6, 6-3, 6-3) over Koenig at number three.

"Its great to see the entire team step up and really take care of business even though we had tough matches," said Stempnowski, a senior leader for the Eagles. Florida Gulf Coast advances to face host and number one seed Barry in the Southeast Region-1 finals on Sat., May 7 at 9:30 a.m.

The Eagles arent concerned about fatigue following todays tough match. "Its the kind of match you want to win," said Webb. "You have to compete hard and stay focused. That should bode well for us. Winning a tough match will only help us tomorrow. We know Barry will be tough and weve played them tough in the past."

Singles competition:
1. Richard Stempnowski (FGCU) vs. S. Niedermayer (ECM) 2-6, 6-4, 2-0, unfinished
2. Jose Pastrello (FGCU) vs. Javier Romero-Barrio (ECM) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0, unfinished
3. Juan Carlos Osorio (FGCU) def. Elmar Koenig (ECM) 0-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Alberto Gutierrez (FGCU) vs. Nikola Vujovic (ECM) 6-4, 1-2, unfinished
5. Tim Offerman (FGCU) def. Byron Kidd (ECM) 6-3, 6-2
6. Seth Fogelman (FGCU) def. Sanjar Shodiev (ECM) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. S. Niedermayer/Nikola Vujovic (ECM) def. Jose Pastrello/Richard Stempnowski (FGCU) 8-5
2. Juan Carlos Osorio/Tim Offerman (FGCU) def. Javier Romero-Barrio/Elmar Koenig (ECM) 8-3
3. Seth Fogelman/Alberto Gutierrez (FGCU) def. Sanjar Shodiev/Andtre Mittag (ECM) 8-3

--Courtesy Barry