Feb. 19, 2011
ATLANTA – Facing its seventh nationally-ranked team in eight matches this season, Georgia Tech’s 15th-ranked men’s tennis team returns to the court for the first time in eight days Sunday with a 2 p.m. Eastern time match at 22nd-ranked Auburn.
The Yellow Jackets (6-1) have not played since last Saturday, when they rallied for a thrilling 4-3 win over 11th-ranked Georgia at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. Auburn () is the third-highest ranked team, and the fourth Southeastern Conference foe, Tech has faced this season. The Tigers (5-1) feature three ranked players in singles and one ranked doubles team.
Tech rallied to defeat the Tigers, 4-3, last spring at home.
“We play a good Auburn team at their place on Sunday and it should be a great match,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “Our guys are having a good week of practice and are ready to get on the road. We’re excited to get back on the courts.”
All-American Guillermo Gomez, ranked 14th nationally and on a four-match winning streak, leads the Jackets as the No. 1 singles player. The senior from Alicante, Spain, has a 6-1 dual match record and a 17-5 overall mark in singles, while teaming up with senior Dean O’Brien to win six of seven doubles matches as the Jackets’ No. 3 team this spring. Gomez, who has 102 career singles wins, is taking aim at the Tech record of 112 set by Thorne from 1985-88.
Right behind Gomez is Juan Spir, the nation’s 35th-ranked singles player who plays No. 2 in Tech’s lineup and pairs with Kevin King at No. 1 doubles. Spir, a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, also is 17-5 overall in singles play and 6-1 in dual matches. He and King, a junior from Peachtree City, Ga., are ranked 18th nationally as a doubles team and have a 19-6 record this year.
Eliot Potvin, a senior from Hampden, Maine, has a 4-3 mark as Tech’s No. 3 singles player and joins with Ryan Smith, a senior from Marietta, Ga., as the Jackets’ No. 2 doubles team (5-1 this spring, 12-4 overall).
King has a 5-1 dual match record playing at No. 4 singles and a 9-5 mark overall. Magin Ortiga, a sophomore from Cartagina, Colombia, is 5-1 in dual matches at No. 5, 12-6 overall, and carries a four-match winning streak into the Auburn match.
O’Brien, a senior from Benmore, South Africa, broke into the lineup at No. 6 singles when the Jackets defeated Mississippi State two weeks ago. He did not finish his match that day, but has won twice since, including the clinching victory against Georgia last Saturday.