April 14, 2005
Entering the last week of Atlantic Coast Conference play, the No. 35 Georgia Tech (11-8, 3-5 ACC) men’s tennis team hosts two important matches playing against No. 44 NC State (15-9, 2-6 ACC) and No. 45 North Carolina (14-8, 4-5 ACC). Friday the Yellow Jackets will face the Wolfpack at 2:30 p.m. while Sunday at 2 p.m. Tech will turn its attention to the Tar Heels.
Both matches will be played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center and livestats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com. Tech begins the weekend in eighth place, but could finish as high as sixth depending on its play this weekend.
The Jackets lead the series against NC State, 21-6, including a 7-0 win in 2004. The last time Tech fell to the to the Wolfpack was a 5-4 setback in 1992.
“We certainly have had success in the past over NC State, but this year they are a completely different team,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “This is one of their best seasons in quite a few years and they recently lost a close match to a very good Miami team and I expect our match against them will be very competitive.”
Against the Tar Heels, the Jackets trail in the series, 22-9. One of those nine victories includes a thrilling 4-3 win for the Jackets in Atlanta in 2003. Since 2002, each match has ended in a 4-3 score for the winner.
“Our match against North Carolina is a battle every year,” said Thorne. “We seem to be evenly matched each year and most years it ends up in a 4-3 decision. The doubles point will be very important as will each singles match and I expect each match to be a fight.”
To date, the Jackets have been led by David North and Marko Rajevac, who have a team-best 11 wins on the season in dual match play while Jose Luis Muguruza and Jordan Delass each have 10 singles victories. On the doubles side, the tandem of North and Rajevac own a 13-6 record at No. 1 doubles and are currently ranked No. 52 in the ITA rankings.
“Our focus is to prepare for the ACC Tournament by winning these two matches this weekend and that’s going to be very important for us. Both of the matches we are evenly matched with our opposition but I like our chances at home and hopefully we can take advantage of that. I really feel like our guys are working hard and playing well and they are excited to make a good stance at the end of the year.”