Blue Raiders defeat No. 38 ETSU 4-1

McKenzie ranked and undefeated

February 19, 2009 · MT Athletic Communications
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Blue Raiders snapped their two-match losing streak with a 4-1 win over No. 38 East Tennessee State.

The Blue Raiders began the match with a sweep of doubles to take a 1-0 lead. Senior Robert McKenzie and sophomore John Peers split-up for the first time this season but still each came away with wins.

"It was a huge team performance. Everyone stepped up and going into the match we were certainly an underdog. We showed can compete with a top 40 team and if we can get everyone healthy we will be a team to watch out for," head coach David McNamara said.

ETSU's Enrique Olivares, ranked 15th in the country, began singles play by defeating junior Victor Melo 6-1, 6-1.

The Blue Raiders remained undaunted winning the next three matches for the win. McKenzie won his match 6-4, 6-1 over Charles Bottoni while Peers defeated Grega Teraz 6-3, 6-4.

Senior Morgan Richard clinched the win for the Blue Raiders with his 6-1, 6-3 win over Daniel Isaza in No. 4 singles.

"It was a great effort by Morgan. He has had a really rough couple of week between losing two critical matches and personal tragedy so for him to step up and win the match is huge," McNamara said. "He has been in this situation before and it is a credit to him that he stepped up and won the match for him and the team."

In the national ITA rankings released today McKenzie and Peers are 52nd in the doubles team rankings and in singles Peers is 72nd and McKenzie is 111.

"I am very proud of these guys for being rewarded for winning. I expect bigger and better things from everyone and looking ahead to the weekend I am very excited at the possibilities," McNamara said.

The Blue Raiders will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. when they face Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. Results will be available on goblueraiders.com.

1. #15 Enrique Olivares (ETSU) def. Victor Melo (MT) 6-1, 6-1
2. #111 Robert McKenzie (MT) def. Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. #72 John Peers (MT) def. Grega Teraz (ETSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Morgan Richard (MT) def. Daniel Isaza (ETSU) 6-1, 6-3
5. Sander Gille (ETSU) vs. Alex McCann (MT) 6-3, 0-1, unfinished
6. Alex Algren (ETSU) vs. Kyle Wishing (MT) 4-6, unfinished

1. John Peers/Victor Melo (MT) def. Enrique Olivares/Alex Algren (ETSU) 9-7
2. Robert McKenzie/Morgan Richard (MT) def. Grega Teraz/Charles Bottoni (ETSU) 8-3
3. Daniel Isaza/Robin Akser (ETSU) def. Alex McCann/Kyle Wishing (MT) 8-1

Match Notes:
Middle Tennessee 3-2
East Tennessee State 1-4; National ranking #38
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,3,4)

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.