Jan. 5, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech sophomore Christopher Eubanks is No. 6 in singles, and brothers Casey and Michael Kay are No. 36 in doubles in the pre-season Oracle/ITA rankings released Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. The Yellow Jackets begin their 18th spring under head coach Kenny Thorne ranked 43rd.
Tech, which opens the spring dual-match season next Wednesday with a double-header against East Tennessee State and Presbyterian, returns eight-letterwinners and five of its six starters from a team that went 14-13 and earned a berth in the NCAA Championship last spring.
Five Atlantic Coast Conference teams are in the pre-season top 25 — Virginia (1); North Carolina (9); Wake Forest (11); Duke (13); Virginia Tech (17) — and nine are in the top 50.
Eubanks, who began the fall ranked No. 24, earned an at-large bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and reached the semifinals before losing in three sets to 22nd-ranked Andre Goransson of California. In earlier rounds, Eubanks defeated Duke sophomore Nicolas Alvarez, ranked seventh in the nation, Ohio State junior Herkko Pollanen, ranked 93rd in the nation, and Stanford sophomore Tom Fawcett, ranked No. 20.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore compiled an 11-4 record in singles during fall and a 4-3 mark against ranked opponents. Earlier in the fall, he reached the semifinals of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens and the quarterfinals of the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional in Gainesville, Fla. Eubanks posted a 25-21 singles record as a freshman, including an 11-9 mark in tournament play and 14-12 in dual matches. Among his victories were six against ranked opponents, three against foes ranked in the top 20 nationally. He received a bid to the NCAA singles championship, the first Yellow Jacket freshman to play in the national championship since 2008, and finished the spring No. 47 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
The Kay brothers enjoyed a standout fall season, compiling an 8-3 record and winning 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.
Juniors Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) and Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) combined to win 50 singles matches, while sophomore Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) won 23. Also back are seniors Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.), who has 58 career wins, and Casey Kay (Atlanta, Ga.), recovered from a hip injury, as well as a pair of sophomore in Elijah Melendez (Suwanee, Ga.) and Daniel Yun (Marietta, Ga.), who won 19 matches between them last spring and 15 in the fall. They are joined by freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong), who went 7-7 in the fall.
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.