FLORENCE, Ala. – With a 6-1 win over North Alabama, Friday evening, the #73 FGCU men’s tennis team has won a share of the ASUN Regular Season Championship. It is the fourth championship in program history (2015, 2016, 2019) to go along with its South Division crown a year ago.
The Eagles finish with a 7-1 record in the ASUN, tied atop the division with Kennesaw State, but since FGCU defeated the Owls earlier this season, the Green and Blue will be the top seed in next week’s ASUN Championship at the FGCU Tennis Complex. Overall, the Eagles are 14-6 on the season.
“I’m so proud of this team for overcoming so many challenges throughout this season and earning this regular-season championship,” said head coach CJ Weber. “They have worked so hard and committed a lot to this program to put ourselves in this position, and this was one of our goals this season. We need to stay humble and hungry and open to learning because the real prize still lies ahead next weekend at the conference tourney.”
The Eagles dropped the doubles point against the Lions this evening, but came back to win all six singles matches. Over the last three matches, the Eagles are 18-0 in singles play and 23-1 in the last four.
Redshirt-sophomore Marcelo Sepulveda (Monterrey, Mexico/Penn Foster/Alabama) earned the first point for the Eagles on the day as he won 6-2, 6-0 on court three.
Redshirt-sophomore Randy Wilson (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Miami Palmetto/Louisville) gave the Eagles the lead as he completed a perfect 8-0 ASUN season with a 6-2, 6-2 win on court two, his first time playing at No. 2 this season.
Redshirt-sophomore Guglielmo Stefanacci (Prato, Italy/International School of Florence) extended the FGCU lead to 3-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 win on court four before redshirt-sophomore Juan Lopez (Gachancipa, Colombia/Colegio Virtual Siglio XXI) clinched the match with a 7-5, 6-2 win on court five.
Redshirt-sophomore Magnus Johnson (Naples, Fla./Homeschool/UCF) and sophomore Eric Oncins (Orlando, Fla./Montverde Academy) completed the singles sweep as they each won in tiebreaker final sets.
The Eagles will now turn their attention to next week’s ASUN Championship which will be hosted by the Green and Blue from April 22-24.
“I hope all of Southwest Florida comes out to the tournament next weekend!” said Weber. “This is an absolutely fantastic event, and whether you’re a tennis fan or not, I promise you will be entertained at the FGCU Tennis Complex next weekend. You need to be there!”
#73 FGCU 6, North Alabama 1
#1 JOHNSON, Magnus [FGCU] def. Carlos Matarredona [UNA] 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (7-3)
#2 WILSON, Randy [FGCU] def. Chris Zhang [UNA] 6-2, 6-2
#3 SEPULVEDA, Marcelo [FGCU] def. Guilherme Diniz [UNA] 6-2, 6-0
#4 STEFANACCI, Gugli [FGCU] def. Nazar Fedoryshyn [UNA] 6-4, 6-2
#5 LOPEZ, Juan [FGCU] def. Jamie Bixby [UNA] 7-5, 6-2
#6 ONCINS, Eric [FGCU] def. Sam Tolbert [UNA] 6-1, 6-7, 1-0 (7-2)
#1 Carlos Matarredona / Fernando Herrera [UNA] def. JOHNSON, Magnus / DAMM, Max [FGCU], 6-4
#2 SEPULVEDA, Marcelo / MONTES, Juan [FGCU] def. Guilherme Diniz / Jamie Bixby [UNA], 6-4
#3 Chris Zhang / Sam Tolbert [UNA] def. ONCINS, Eric / WILSON, Randy [FGCU], 6-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3, 2, 4, 5, 1, 6)
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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 116-83 (.583) overall record and a 49-19 (.721) 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 91 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of D-I 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.