March 14, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is back home this weekend to play its Atlantic Coast Conference home opener at 2 p.m. Sunday against 24th-ranked Florida State at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
MATCH INFORMATION – Admission to Sunday’s match, which follows the women’s team’s 10:30 a.m. match against Miami, is free. Free parking is available along Fowler Street or in the McCamish Pavilion lot.
TEAM UPDATES – Georgia Tech improved to 9-3 with a pair of road victories last weekend at No. 56 Clemson (5-2) and Miami (4-2) to open conference play. That equals the Yellow Jackets’ ACC win total from the past two years combined, and were Tech’s first ACC road wins since 2013. The victories also lifted the Jackets back into the ITA rankings at No. 68. Tech is looking for its first win over the Seminoles since 2011, when the Jackets took a 6-1 home-court victory. The Seminoles (12-4, 1-1), ranked No. 24, split a pair of road matches last weekend at No. 33 Louisville (won 4-3) and No. 19 North Carolina (lost 5-2).
SINGLES UPDATE – Tech’s top two players in the lineup are ranked in the ITA top 100 in singles – freshman Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.) is No. 66 after splitting his first two matches at No. 1 singles last weekend and is 10-2 this spring, and Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.) is No. 84 after a split of his matches at No. 2 to leave him 4-4 this spring. Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) continued his hot play of late, winning twice at No. 3 to extend his personal winning streak to six matches and a 10-1 spring record. Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) split matches at No. 4 last weekend and is 5-5 this spring. Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) dropped down to No. 5 last weekend, where he is 4-1, and 10-2 overall this spring. Eduardo Segura played both matches at No. 6 and improved to 7-3 in the spring. He has a team-best 22-8 overall singles record this year.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Tech has won the doubles point in 10 of 12 matches this spring. No. 1 team Benito and Segura are 8-3 in their dual-match decisions this spring and stand No. 59 nationally in the ITA rankings. Eubanks and Kay are 6-2 playing at No. 2.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “Anytime you win on the road in the ACC, it’s big. We were happy to get out of there with two wins, but we also came out of there needing to work on some things. It’s always nice to do that after winning. We’re in a good place, but we absolutely need to correct some things in order to get into the rest of our season. We’ve got some options in our lineup, and we’ve fluctuated a lot. It’s good to have that kind of flexibility.”
THORNE ON DOUBLES SUCCESS – “Doubles is always important every season; it’s very big, and it’s good to get off on the right foot going into singles, BUT, I feel like we’ve scraped by a little in doubles. We need to improve in doubles, and the guys understand that. We’ve won a lot of doubles matches, but our best doubles is still ahead of us.”
THORNE ON BENITO AND FIEGEL – “Carlos was thrown into a tough spot last year given the number of players we had, and he had to play high in the lineup as a freshman. That was tough. This year we’ve been able to move him around, and he has worked on his game. He’s reacted very well, and he’s developed a lot and gained confidence. Cole did a good job for us last year, and now we’ve been able to move him around a little and help him get better, which is our goal.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 17th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 14 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.