April 1, 2005
After two non-conference matches last week, the No. 37 Georgia Tech (9-6, 1-3 ACC) Yellow Jackets return to Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend in two key matches hosting No. 5 Duke (13-2, 3-0 ACC) and No. 30 Wake Forest (12-4, 4-3 ACC). Saturday the Yellow Jackets will face the Blue Devis at 12 p.m. while Sunday at 1 p.m. Tech will turn its attention to the Demon Deacons. Both matches will be played at the Bill Moore Tennis Center and livestats will be available for at www.ramblinwreck.com.
The Jackets trail in the series against Duke, 32-6, including a 7-0 loss in 2004. The last time Tech defeated the Blue Devils was a 4-3 victory in the ACC Tournament in 2002.
“From top to bottom, Duke is a very talented team this year,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “They’ve had some great wins this season and their two losses have been to teams who are ranked just ahead of them. They are certainly going to be a tough match, but our kids have played in big matches like this before so it will be interesting to see how they respond.”
Against the Demon Deacons, the Jackets lead the series, 19-10, including a 4-3 win last year in Winston-Salem, NC. The last time Tech fell to Wake was a 4-3 defeat in 2003.
“Wake Forest is having a great year and playing very well this season,” said Thorne. “Our matches with them are always very close we’ve played against each other a lot in tournament play this year so we know a lot about them. This is an important match in the ACC standings and should be a great one to watch.”
To date, the Jackets have been led by Marko Rajevac who has a team-best 10 wins on the season in dual match play. In addition, Jose Luis Muguruza is ranked No. 21 in singles action in ITA Rankings and has eight dual match singles win this year. On the doubles side, the tandem of Rajevac and David North own a 11-4 record at No. 1 doubles, including an 8-0 win over the 38th-ranked team from Tulane.
“With back to back matches this weekend, it’s going to be a challenge for our team to stay focused the entire weekend. But, our conference race is so tight this year that every time we step out on the court and play an ACC opponent, our team realizes the importance so I’m confident that we will play our best this weekend.”