FORT MYERS, FL. – The FGCU men’s tennis team fought valiantly in Sunday’s ASUN title match against Liberty, but ultimately fell 4-2 to the Flames. The Eagles finish with a 15-7 record while Liberty advances to the NCAA tournament with a 13-10 record.
“It’s really hard to put into words how you feel at the end of the season when the players give you everything they have,” said the head coach CJ Weber. “Liberty played extremely well today and they trusted their games even in important moments of pressure. I think that was the only way we could be beaten this weekend. The boys fought really hard but today just wasn’t our day to win “I want to thank all of our supporters today and throughout the year. FGCU is a very special place to be a tennis coach with such a supportive Community around us! Thank you for an unforgettable season and I look forward to building it.” something special again next year!”
The Eagles took an early lead by taking the colon. second grader Eric Oncins (Orlando, Fla./Montverde Academy) and Redshirt sophomore Randy Wilson (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Miami Palmetto/Louisville) won their third-place game 6-3 ahead of the juniors Max Damm (Bradenton, Fla./Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School) Redshirt sophomore Magnus Johnson (Naples, Fla./Homeschool/UCF) won with the same result at number one.
In singles, redshirt student Guglielmo Stefanacci (Prato, Italy/International School of Florence) won 6-0, 6-2 in fifth place to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. However, that was all the Eagles would get that day as the Flames won the next four decisions.
Liberty won in first, second and fourth in straight sets, but the Eagles still had a chance as redshirt sophomores Marcelo Sepulveda (Monterrey, Mexico/Penn Foster/Alabama) and Juan Lopez (Gachancipa, Colombia/Colegio Virtual Siglio XXI) each went into a third set.
Unfortunately, Thando Longwe-Smit retired from Lopez in sixth place to win the match for the Flames. Sepulveda’s match remained unfinished, but based on his game today and his big win in the semifinals, he was named to the All-Tournament Team.
#3 Freedom 4, #1 FGCU 2
1. Josh Wilson (LIBERTY) def. JOHNSON, Magnus (FGCU) 6-4, 6-4
2. Defeated Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTY). WILSON, Randy (FGCU) 6-2, 6-1
3. SEPULVEDA, Marcelo (FGCU) vs. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTY) 4-6, 6-3, 2-5, unfinished
4. Christiaan Worst (LIBERTY) def. MONTES, Juan (FGCU) 6-2, 6-2
5. STEFANACCI, Gugli (FGCU) def. Deji Thomas Smith (LIBERTY) 6-0, 6-2
6. Thando defeated Longwe-Smit (LIBERTY). LOPEZ, Juan (FGCU) 1-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2
1. DAMM, Max/JOHNSON, Magnus (FGCU) def. Nicaise Muamba/R. Marques Da Silva (FREEDOM) 6-3
2. Christiaan Worst/Josh Wilson (LIBERTY) def. SEPULVEDA, Marcelo/MONTES, Juan (FGCU) 6-2
3. WILSON, Randy/ONCINS, Eric (FGCU) def. Deji Thomas-Smith/Zion Heaven (LIBERTY) 6-3
Order of Completion: double room (3,2,1); Single (5,2,4,1,6)
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FGCU is led by the three-time ASUN Coach of the Year CJ Weber, who has coached 32 ASUN All-Conference selections since joining Green and Blue in 2011. In his seventh year, Weber has an overall record of 118–94 (.583) and a 50–20 (.721) record in the ASUN game. In 2014-15, Weber led the Eagles to their first-ever ASUN championship and ASUN regular-season title after earning 17 wins as a program-best. In his third season, Weber led Jordi Vives ranked 35th nationally, a national-leading 14-game unbeaten streak and the Round of 32 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament—the program’s first appearance. The Eagles had perfect ASUN seasons in both 2015 and 2016, ending with conference titles and a Coach of the Year award for Weber. FGCU again won the 2017 ASUN Championship and made its second NCAA appearance. The Eagles returned to the mountaintop by winning the 2019 regular season and tournament championships. Weber received his third ASUN Coach of the Year award and led the Green-Blues on their third trip to the NCAA Tournament.
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FGCU teams have collectively won an incredible 91 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 contested a total of 43 teams or individuals in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a national top-25 ranking in their respective sports — 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 youngest. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues finished in the division’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and made the top-100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven teams from ASUN and Florida to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also achieved a combined record 3.50 GPA in the classroom for the Fall 2020 semester and has surpassed the university’s general student population for 25 consecutive semesters. In each of the last five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) another milestone was achieved as all 15 programs each achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also contributed an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 and were recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.