July 5, 2006
Two prep high school standouts and a transfer from the University of Colorado have signed letters of intent to play at Georgia Tech during the 2006-07 season, head coach Kenny Thorne announced Wednesday.
Joining the Tech program are Luke Rassow-Kantor of Westport, Conn., Austin Roebuck of Athens, Ga., and Eric Molnar, who joins the team after Colorado dropped its men’s program after the season, with one year of eligibility remaining.
“I’m very excited about this group of guys who will be joining our team,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “All three of the guys are great kids, with good playing credentials and excellent academic backgrounds, and each one of them will be able to contribute to our team next year.”
Rassow-Kantor reached as high as No. 72 in the USTA Boys 18 and under age division in 2006 and as high as No. 54 in the same ranking for doubles. The top ranked player in the USTA New England Division over the past two years, Rassow-Kantor is a graduate of Staples High School who helped lead his high school team to the state semifinals as a freshman. In addition, he was endorsed for the Junior Davis Cup and the National Clay and Hard court tournaments. During 2005 he won the USTA New England Section 18 and under championship in doubles and finished in third place in singles.
“We were very happy to get Luke’s commitment to Georgia Tech,” said Thorne. “He is the top player in Connecticut and top three in the New England section. Luke is a big guy and has a big serve and very good volleys. He has a game that can really develop in college and it will be fun helping him progress. He is an exceptional student and will excel on and off the court. Pay attention to Luke’s progress because some schools overlooked him and we know that he has something special.”
Roebuck, the Northeast Georgia Player of the Year in 2006, has held national rankings as a 14, 16 and 18 year old. A participant on the Georgia Junior Davis Cup, Roebuck helped Oconee High School to the AAA State Finals in 2005 while building an 82-4 singles record during his four years of high school. At the National Hard Court Championships last fall, he defeated three nationally ranked players, and at the Georgia State Championships this year, teamed with Ryan Smith to win the Boy’s 18 Doubles Title.
“We are very happy to get another local Georgia player,” said Thorne. “Austin is one of the top players in Georgia as well as the south. He is technically very sound and has been coached by a very good coach in Gery Groslimond. We are looking forward to having Austin begin playing this fall and get some college matches under his belt as he has the game to do well, just needs some experience. He will be a great representative for Georgia Tech and we are thrilled to have him.”
Molnar, the final signee for the Yellow Jackets, joins the program after spending a year with the University of Colorado program. Originally from Ontario, Canada, he helped the Buffaloes to an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the schools first since 1998. The No. 1 singles player for Colorado last season, Molnar finished the year with a 26-18 record, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Singles championship before falling in three sets to the eventual national champion, Benjamin Kohlloeffel.
“Eric is coming off of his best season in college,” said Thorne. “He is one of the premier players in the country and is probably the strongest physical player out there. He was the only player to take a set off the NCAA champion at the NCAA individual championships this year. Eric has a unique story in his transfer from Colorado due to the canceling of the tennis program and now will be competing for his 3rd college. He is a good student and will fit the mold for the Georgia Tech student-athlete and will be a nationwide player to watch bringing a lot of college experience to the team as well as a very big game.”
“We strengthened the top of our line up and we added depth,” said Thorne. “Those were the two concerns we had and we fulfilled our needs with these commitments. The ACC is going to be very tough again, last year nine of 12 teams made the NCAA field, and now we will be right there in the mix.”