Sept. 22, 2016
THE FLATS — Returning seven lettermen from its 2016 NCAA Tournament team, Georgia Tech men’s tennis is set to kick off its fall season this weekend at the 49th Annual Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga. The squad starts competition on Friday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m. and continues through Monday, Sept. 26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Team Update: The Yellow Jackets return seven of nine lettermen from the 2016 NCAA Tournament team. Last season, the Jackets boasted a 17-9 record and advanced to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 11 Southern California. The losses from Tech’s roster are Nathan Rakitt, who carried a 20-15 record during his senior campaign, and Casey Kay, who teamed up with his brother Michael Kay to lead the doubles pairings for the Yellow Jackets in the 2015-16 season. Making their collegiate debut for the Jackets are sophomore Phillip Gresk and freshman Chris Yun. Gresk, a native of Warsaw, Poland, sat out last year to fulfill an NCAA eligibility issue and ranked No. 1 in Poland prior to coming to The Flats. Chris Yun, younger brother of current Yellow Jacket Daniel Yun, is rated a Blue Chip prospect and ranked 13th in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net.
Singles Update: Senior Carlos Benito returns to competition this Friday with the No. 73 spot in the ITA preseason rankings. Junior Chris Eubanks received the No. 5 spot in the ITA preseason poll, however he will not be competing at the Southern Intercollegiate.
Doubles Update: The Jackets will be debuting three new doubles pairings at the Southern Intercollegiate. Sophomore duo Gresk and Andrew Li will team up for the first time. Junior Michael Kay will pair with junior Daniel Yun for the weekend. Matching an experienced senior with the newcomer, returning letterwinner Cole Fiegel will match up with freshman Chris Yun at the tournament.
Head coach Kenny Thorne says: “Tournament time in the fall is exciting to me. Every player has the opportunity to take off or break out of the pack. We will have great competition this weekend so I’m anticipating some really good tennis. We are playing most of our guys in singles this weekend, and we will be playing three new doubles teams. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.”
The SIC Field: This year’s tournament includes student-athletes from the following schools Arkansas, Armstrong State, Baylor, Belmont, Central Florida, East Tennessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Florida, Gardner-Webb, Georgia, Georgia College, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Lander, Lipscomb, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, UNC Charlotte, Old Dominion, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt. Also in the field are some faces from Atlantic Coast Conference foes Clemson, Louisville, Miami and Virginia Tech.
The Tournament Format: The field will be divided into three singles divisions and two doubles divisions. Day one action is set to conclude with Divisions I and II doubles. Draws have not been finalized yet, but will be posted on GeorgiaDogs.com when they have been completed.