Tech Hosts William & Mary in Final Non-Conference Match

March 6, 2013

THE FLATS – Looking to break above .500 as it heads into Atlantic Coast Conference play next week, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team finishes its non-conference schedule with a match against William & Mary at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.

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The Yellow Jackets (6-6), who won two of three matches at home last weekend, will have an eight-day break before hosting Florida State to start conference play next Friday. The Tribe (6-8) are on a spring break trip in which they dropped matches to No. 8 Georgia and No. 20 Clemson.

Admission is free and parking is available along Fowler Street and 8th Street and in the McCamish Pavilion lot.

“We’re are looking for some competitive consistency by now,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “We will look to our seniors to help lead us during our last non-conference match and set the tone for the ACC. We need to persist through some injuries and keep focusing on what we need to do to get better. When things are all going well then the word persist doesn’t come up.”

Tech has gotten better play in recent weeks from senior Juan Melian, who has won five of his last six matches playing at the No. 2 position to improve his spring record to 9-3, and freshman Nathan Rakitt, who has won three of four playing at No. 4 to improve to 7-6.

Thorne has had to shuffle his lineup in both singles and doubles because of an injury to sophomore Vikram Hundal, who suffered a fractured kneecap and is likely out through the ACC Tournament. Hundal and Juan Spir had risen to No. 3 in the nation in doubles with an 18-3 record before Hundal was injured.

That has forced the No. 2 team of Rakitt and Melian, who are 8-4 this spring, up to No. 3 and Colin Edwards and Eduardo Segura (4-2) up to No. 2. Spir played with both freshmen Garrett Gordon and Anish Sharma last Sunday with mixed results.

On the singles front, Segura (7-7) has moved up to the third position, with Sharma playing No. 5 and Edwards at No. 6. Gordon, who missed time with mononucleosis, played only doubles last weekend.

“We have had some tough losses this season so we are about to find out what our guys want to do come May and NCAA time,” Thorne added. “Do we persist and find ways to win?? That is what I want to know from this team. I personally believe we can.”

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