FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kern Pedersen had a good look at his players a week earlier, as he has all fall. He saw bright things from his young talents.
"He's going to be good," Pedersen, a 12-year veteran assistant coach of Barry University men's tennis team said, speaking on behalf of one of a few newcomers.
A week later, Pedersen's prophetic words held true after freshman Nico Dreer reached the final of the Florida Gulf Coast University Fall Invitational Gold singles final and Ahmed Triki, another first-year player, advanced to the top doubles bracket championship match.
Dreer met Bucs junior teammate Kevin Sielmann. Sielmann would get the better of Dreer, a rookie from Albstadt, Germany, winning the third-tier title, 6-4, 6-4, Sunday. It was a tough thing to have to do -- beating your doubles partner, but a good sign for the Buccaneers' program, nonethless when both of them advanced to the finals unscathed in their respective bracket.
"We've got good young talent in this program," Pedersen said. "We're just trying to get them to buy into the principles that we preach, but George (Samuel) does a good job in maintaining a stable of great players that have made Barry University the model institution for tennis in Division II."
Dreer and Sielmann lost in the Green doubles backdraw Sunday to Florida Atlantic's John Nowak and Stefan Burnett, 8-1. In the top-flight Blue doubles final, Barry's Fabian Groetsch and Triki fell in a tight match to Jordi Vives and Tianyu Bao, of Florida Gulf Coast, 8-6.
In the Blue pairs backdraw, Barry's Leo Vivas and Renato Lombardi, a second-year player who along with Sielmann was a regular in the eight-man lineup on last year's NCAA Championship squad, were 8-5 winners over Jovan Parlich and Pete Thomason of Arkansas.
Eduardo Alfonzo and Franco Echenique, both in their second years around the Bucs' program, with Echenique competing for the first time, won their Green doubles backdraw match, 8-6, over FGCU's Lance Lvovsky and Chris Perrigan.
Triki defeated Rich Meade of FAU, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9, in the Blue singles backdraw. Vivas, a senior who began his career at the Division I level, was a straight-sets winner over Boston College's Jonathan Raude, 6-3, 6-3, in the Blue backdraw. Lombardi fell to Arkansas' Santiago Munoz, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 10-5, in the backdraw.
Echenique rolled over Nowak, 6-1, 6-0, in the Green backdraw.
That completes Barry's fall schedule. The Bucs will open the team dual match season the first weekend in February.
"We've had a good fall," Pedersen said a week before it came to a close. "Now we just got to get the guys to work hard for the next month and be committed over the break to be ready for the spring."
FGCU FALL INVITATIONAL
BLUE DOUBLES FINALS
Vives/Bao (FGCU) def. Triki/Groetsch (BU) – 8-6
BLUE DOUBLES BACKDRAW – Sunday
Vivas/Lombardi (BU) def. Parlic/Thomason – 8-5
Raude/Thirouin (BC) def. Fess/Munoz – 8-5
Neuner/Meade (FAU) def. Tsamas/Vaz (FGCU) – 8-2
GREEN DOUBLES FINALS
Barrus/Acree (UCF) def. Murphy/Albanese (UM) – 8-1
GREEN DOUBLES BACKDRAW - Sunday
Alfonzo/Echenique (BU) def. Lvovsky/Perrigan (FGCU) – 8-6
Dubuque/Bacha def. Workman/Aziz (BC) – 8-3
Nowak/Burnett def. Dreer/Siemann (BU) – 8-1
BLUE SINGLES FINALS
Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Tianyu Bao (FGCU) – 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1
BLUE SINGLES BACKDRAW – Sunday
Ahmed Triki (BU) def. Rich Meade (FAU) – 4-6, 6-3, 11-9
Leo Vivas (BU) def. Jonathan Raude (BC) – 6-3, 6-3
Santiago Munoz (UA) def. Renato Lombardi (BU) – 6-1, 6-7 (3), 10-5
Kyle Childree (BC) def. Hall Fass (UA) – 6-3, 3-6, 10-7
Jovan Parlic (UA) def. Fabian Groetsch (BU) – 6-3, 6-4
GREEN SINGLES BACKDRAW – Sunday
Matt Wagner (BC) def. Sean Bacha (FAU) - 6-2, 6-3
Robbie Dubuque (FAU) def. Hank Workman (BC) -
Franco Echenique (BU) def. John Nowak (FAU) – 6-1, 6-0
Gabe Echeverry (FGCU) def. Pete Thomason (UA) - 6-7 (6), 6-1, 10-4
Lucas Vaz (FGCU) def. Alexandre Thirouin (BC) – 6-0, 7-5
GOLD SINGLES FINALS
Kevin Sielmann (BU) def. Nico Dreer (BU) – 6-4, 6-4
GOLD SINGLES FLOATING MATCHES – Sunday
Bernard Tefel (UM) def. Lance Lvovsky (FGCU) - 6-4, 6-4
Chris Perrigan (FGCU) def. Stefan Burnett (FAU) -
Trey Nickerson (FAU) def. AJ Aziz (BC) – 7-5, 6-1
Hank Workman (BC) def. Robbie Dubuque (FAU) - 6-4, 7-5
Chris Perrigan (FGCU) def. Stefan Burnett (FAU) – 6-3, 6-4