Jan. 14, 2016
THE FLATS – Fresh off a pair of victories in its season-opening double-header Wednesday, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team steps up the competition this weekend as it hosts the third MLK Invitational, Friday through Monday at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The three-day, round-robin tournament begins Friday afternoon and runs through Monday, when campus is closed in observance of the MLK holiday. The event features each team facing another in singles and doubles play throughout the weekend, and each team will submit a lineup of six or seven players for singles and three to four doubles teams. No team scores will be kept or team winners declared, but singles and doubles champions will be crowned at the conclusion of play Monday.
Eight of the nation’s top 125 individual singles players will be on the courts, as well as four of the top 60 doubles teams.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE – Georgia Tech, ranked 43rd in the nation, kicks off the competition at 4 p.m. Friday against No. 19 Ole Miss. Saturday’s schedule features No. 7 Georgia against the Rebels at 10 a.m., followed by the Yellow Jackets against No. 2 Oklahoma at 2 p.m.
Ole Miss and Oklahoma will meet at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by Tech vs. Georgia at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs and the Sooners will close out the event against each other at 10 a.m. Monday.
ADMISSION/PARKING – Admission is free all three days. Parking for Saturday and Sunday sessions is restricted due to Saturday’s men’s basketball game vs. Virginia Tech and Sunday’s women’s game against Virginia. The McCamish Pavilion lot and 8th Street are available to patrons ONLY Friday afternoon and Monday morning. On Saturday, fans must pay to park in the W23 deck between Atlantic and 10th Street. Parking is available for Sunday’s matches in the Family Housing deck on 10th Street or W23.
TECH UPDATE – Georgia Tech began its quest for a second straight berth to the NCAA Tournament, and the 16th under head coach Kenny Thorne, with a 4-3 win over East Tennessee State and a 6-1 victory over Presbyterian on Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets, ranked No. 43 in the first spring ITA poll, finished last spring with a 14-13 record following a first-round loss to Columbia in the NCAA regional in Oxford, Miss.
SINGLES UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who compiled an 11-4 record in the fall, won both of his matches on Wednesday and is ranked No. 6 nationally entering the spring season. Eubanks reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, knocking off three ranked foes in the process.
Tech has plenty of experience behind him, including senior Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.), who has 59 career singles victories, senior Casey Kay (Atlanta, Ga.), juniors Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) and Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.), who have 100 career singles wins between them, and a pair of sophomores in Elijah Melendez (Suwanee, Ga.), who was 10-7 in the fall, and Daniel Yun (Marietta, Ga.), who was 5-8. Freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong), who was 7-7 in the fall, won both of his singles matches on Wednesday.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Thorne has plenty of options with which to fill out the lineup card, but liked the development of Michael and Casey Kay, who compiled an 8-3 record in the fall and won 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. Ranked No. 36 in the ITA poll, they began the spring in fine fashion with a pair of victories on Wednesday playing No. 1. Melendez and Yun also had success in the fall, going 7-2, and are 14-7 together in their young careers.
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.