May 3, 2006
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men’s tennis team earned its sixth-straight at-large berth into the NCAA Championship and ninth bid in the last 10 years when the field of 64 teams was announced Wednesday night. The No. 30 Yellow Jackets (11-9) will travel to Athens, Ga. to face No. 38 Alabama (14-12) in the first round of competition on Saturday, May 13 at 12 p.m.
The first two rounds will be held at the Dan McGill Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Georgia.
“Obviously we are excited to be in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth-straight year,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “This shows that our guys really worked hard throughout the season and stayed focus during the year. We played Alabama early in the season and they have improved a great deal during the year, but so has our team. Our guys know their players well and I expect it will be a fun match for our team to play.”
The Jackets’ 2006 appearance will be the 11th in the history of the program, as Thorne has now led Tech to the NCAAs in seven of his eight seasons at the helm. The Jackets enter this year’s tournament with a 5-10 record in NCAA matches, including a first round lost last season to 38th-ranked Vanderbilt in Gainesville, Fla.
Georgia Tech is 8-10 in matches against the Crimson Tide with the Yellow Jackets defeating Alabama in Atlanta, 6-1, earlier this season. In that match, Tech earned singles victories from David North, Jordan Delass, Scott Blackmon, Zachary Rath and George Gvelesiani and also earned the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The Crimson Tide’s only point was at No. 1 singles as Marko Rajevac dropped a tough three-set match to Joseph Jung.
The Yellow Jackets have not competed in a match since a 4-3 setback to Virginia Tech on April 20 in the ACC Tournament.
“I feel really good about where we are as a team right now,” said Thorne. “Our guys have been busy with finals, but we’ve still been able to get some good practices in this week. I really feel like our team was disappointed in the outcome in the ACC Tournament and after a few weeks off, is ready to get back out on the court and compete. We’ve already been to Athens numerous times so I don’t think we’ll have any surprises and we’ll be ready.”
The winner of the match between Georgia Tech and Alabama will advance to face the winner of top-ranked and top-seeded Georgia (25-0) and No. 75 Furman (20-10) in the second round which will be held Sunday, May 14 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students with a valid college ID and for children under the age of 18. Each ticket purchased is for general admission seating and will be valid for the matches on that day. Tickets will only be sold at the gate on the day of the event.
For more information or directions to the Dan McGill Tennis Center, fans may visit www.georgiadogs.com.
The winner of that match will advance to the Round of 16 on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., May 21-30.
The entire bracket for the tournament is available at www.ncaachampionships.com.