Feb. 11, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech is back home for the first time in more than three weeks to host Auburn, Georgia State and Mercer in men’s tennis this weekend at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The Yellow Jackets face Auburn, 4-1 and ranked No. 56, at 5 p.m. Friday, then host a Sunday double-header against Georgia State (3-1) and Mercer (2-5) for matches at 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively. Admission is free to all three matches. Parking for the Auburn match is available along Fowler and 8th Streets, as well as the McCamish Pavilion lot.
TEAM UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets, No. 44 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association after beginning the spring at No. 43, have lost three straight matches after a 3-0 start, falling to No. 12 UCLA (4-0), No. 59 South Carolina (5-2) and No. 11 Georgia (6-1) on their home courts the last three weekends. Tech had opened with a pair of home-court wins over East Tennessee State and Presbyterian, and downed a 46th-ranked New Mexico team in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The Tigers have defeated The Citadel (twice), Cal Poly and Troy, and lost to No. 10 Wake Forest. The Panthers have won three straight over Furman, Mercer and Lipscomb since an opening loss to No. 65 Alabama. The Bears opened their season with a split of two matches against Clemson, and have lost to Tennessee and Georgia State on the road.
SINGLES UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who is 6-1 this spring and ranked No. 9 in the nation. His only loss came last weekend against Georgia’s Wayne Montgomery, ranked No. 20.
The Jackets have struggled to find consistency below Eubanks in the lineup, however. Junior Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) has played every match at No. 2, going 2-4. Head coach Kenny Thorne has shuffled players at the other four positions, with freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong) finding the most success with three wins in five decisions.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Tech has won the doubles point in every match except against No. 12 UCLA. Casey and Michael Kay, 3-1 this spring, have moved up to 24th in the ITA rankings after opening at No. 36. They are 3-3 against ranked teams this year. Benito and Eubanks have gone 3-0 at No. 2, while Li and Rakitt at 2-1 at No. 3..
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “We are fired up to be back home playing Auburn and two matches on Sunday before we hit the road again. We are playing indoors tomorrow and it looks like indoors on Sunday according to the weather forecast. We practiced hard and well this week. We are looking for some guys to step up and get this team to where we have goals of going. Auburn is tough and we have good battles with them every year. We hope to have some good fan support.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 18th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 15 times. Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_MTEN). For more information on Tech men’s tennis, visit Ramblinwreck.com.