FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s tennis team faced off against #26 Memphis, Saturday evening, falling to the Tigers, 5-2. The Eagles drop to 7-5 on the season while Memphis improves to 9-3.
“Tonight was a really tough loss,” said head coach CJ Weber† “Memphis came up clutch in the right moments in doubles and that ended up being too much for us to overcome. It’s really hard to lose a doubles point that close, and that could have helped us in the singles as well. I’m proud of these guys’ fight though. We need to keep doing the right things, and matches like this can turn our direction.”
In doubles, redshirt-sophomore Marcelo Sepulveda (Monterrey, Mexico/Penn Foster/Alabama) and graduate student Juan Montes (Pereira, Colombia/Colegio Lujan) picked up a 6-4 win on court three to put the Eagles ahead for the moment. However, the Tigers won on courts one and two, each coming in tiebreakers.
In singles, redshirt-sophomore Magnus Johnson (Naples, Fla./Homeschool/UCF) collected his 10th win of the spring with 6-3, 7-5 win on court one, having to come from down 4-1 in the second set.
Sepulveda picked up his second win of the night on court three, taking down his opponent, 6-4, 2-6, 3-1 (r).
Those wins were not enough for the Eagles as Memphis won on courts two, four, five, and six to clinch the match.
Despite the loss, tonight was a special night for the Eagles as they hosted an Alumni celebration.
“The Alumni Day for me was really really special,” Weber continued. “I like for the former players to be around the program and get to know the current team. It’s all part of growing the family environment. It was fun getting to celebrate their careers, and I really appreciate them coming back to support the program. Hopefully we can keep growing these things in the future!
#26 Memphis 5, FGCU 2
1. JOHNSON, Magnus (FGCU) def. Oscar Cutting (MEM) 6-3, 7-5
2. #113 Jeremy Taylor (MEM) def. MONTES, Juan (FGCU) 6-3, 6-2
3. SEPULVEDA, Marcelo (FGCU) def. David Stevenson (MEM) 6-4, 2-6, 3-1, retired
4. Pau Fanlo (MEM) def. WILSON, Randy (FGCU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Pablo Alemany Malea (MEM) def. STEFANACCI, Gugli (FGCU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Harry Rock (MEM) def. LOPEZ, Juan (FGCU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
1. #22 Jeremy Taylor/David Stevenson (MEM) def. JOHNSON, Magnus/DAMM, Max (FGCU) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Pablo Alemany Malea/Oscar Cutting (MEM) def. WILSON, Randy/ONCINS, Eric (FGCU) 7-6 (7-4)
3. SEPULVEDA, Marcelo/MONTES, Juan (FGCU) def. Pau Fanlo/Patrick Sydow (MEM) 6-4
Order or finish: Doubles (3.2,1); Singles (4,2,5,1,3,6)
The Eagles will return to action on Friday when they host Bellarmine to open ASUN play. First serve from the FGCU Tennis Complex is set for 5 pm
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FGCU is led by three-time ASUN Coach of the Year CJ Weber, who has coached 32 ASUN All-Conference selections since joining the Green and Blue in 2011. In his seventh year, Weber has compiled a 110-83 (.572) overall record and a 43-19 (.672) record in ASUN play . In 2014-15, Weber guided 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 ranking, a nation-leading 14-match unbeaten streak 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 as well as a Coach of the Year honor for Weber. FGCU again won the 2017 ASUN Championship and made its second NCAA appearance. The Eagles returned to the mountaintop by claiming the 2019 regular season and tournament championships. Weber earned his third ASUN Coach of the Year honor and led the Green and Blue to their third trip to the NCAA Tournament.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 89 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 43 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.