Jan. 12, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech opens its 2016 spring dual season Saturday by hosting East Tennessee State and Presbyterian in a double-header at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. Tech takes on the Buccaneers at 2:30 p.m., and the Blue Hose at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free to both matches, and fans can park in the main McCamish Pavilion lot.
TEAM UPDATE — Georgia Tech begins its quest for a second straight berth to the NCAA Tournament, and the 16th under head coach Kenny Thorne, and has been ranked No. 43 in the pre-season rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Yellow Jackets finished last spring with a 14-13 record following a first-round loss to Columbia in the NCAA regional in Oxford, Miss. The Buccaneers, ranked as high as No. 63 last year, are coming off a 17-8 campaign last spring, dropping a first-round NCAA regional match at Virginia Tech.
SINGLES UPDATE — The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who compiled an 11-4 record in the fall and is ranked No. 6 nationally entering the spring season. Eubanks reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, knocking off three ranked foes in the process.
Tech has plenty of experience behind him, including senior Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.), who has 58 career singles victories, senior Casey Kay (Atlanta, Ga.), juniors Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) and Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.), who have 99 career singles wins between them, and a pair of sophomores in Elijah Melendez (Suwanee, Ga.), who was 10-7 in the fall, and Daniel Yun (Marietta, Ga.), who was 5-8. Freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong), who was 7-7 in the fall, will vie for a spot.
DOUBLES UPDATE — Thorne has plenty of options with which to fill out the lineup card, but liked the development of Michael and Casey Kay, who compiled an 8-3 record in the fall and won the Georgia Tech Fall Invitational. They also reached the round of 16 at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships and won twice in the ITA All-American Championships. Melendez and Yun also had success in the fall, going 7-2, and are 13-7 together in their young careers.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS — “It’s exciting to get the season started. Our guys did a lot of individual work in the fall, but now it’s exciting to see them get out there and play for each other. We’ve only had four days of practice here before our first match, but we didn’t call Christmas break, break, we called it pre-season. A lot of our guys live in Atlanta, and we have a great indoor facility, so they came in and took advantage. Tomorrow, we’ll get a good look at where we are.”
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.