April 7, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech begins a gauntlet of matches against the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference this weekend when the 31st-ranked Yellow Jackets play host to No. 3 Virginia and No. 40 Virginia Tech, Friday and Sunday at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
THE SCENE – Admission is free to both matches – Virginia at 5 p.m. Friday and Virginia Tech at noon Sunday – and parking is available to fans in the McCamish Pavilion lot. The matches are both expected to be played outdoors with a weather forecast of no rain and high temperatures in the 60s.
Tech is offering free t-shirts and pizza while supplies last for Friday’s match, as well as a gift card raffle for Tech students. The Yellow Jackets will honor their two seniors – Casey Kay and Nathan Rakitt – at their final home match Sunday, and the first 100 Tech student in attendance will be offered King of Pops.
TEAM UPDATE – Georgia Tech (14-5, 7-2 ACC), No. 31 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, and with three matches left in the regular season, the Yellow Jackets hold third place in the ACC standings behind Wake Forest (8-1) and Virginia (7-1). Tech remains undefeated at home this season at 9-0, and finishes the regular season next April 15 at top-ranked North Carolina.
The Cavaliers are 17-3 overall and lost their only ACC match at North Carolina by a 4-3 score. The Hokies, who visit Clemson Friday before coming to Atlanta, hold sixth place in the ACC at 5-4, and have a 12-6 overall record.
SINGLES UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), is No. 12 in the ITA rankings this week with a 15-2 dual match record and a 7-1 ACC mark. His only losses have come to players ranked No. 20 and No. 11, both on the road.
Junior Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) has won nine of his last 11 matches playing at the No. 2 position, and is 6-2 in ACC competition. Head coach Kenny Thorne has shuffled players at the other four positions, most recently elevating junior Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) to the No. 3 position and sophomore Daniel Yun (Marietta, Ga.) to No. 4. The Jackets have been strong at No. 5, where freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong) is 8-8 this spring, and No. 6, where senior Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.) has won 10 straight decisions and is 11-2 this spring, 7-0 in ACC matches.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Tech has won the doubles point in 15 of 18 contests, including the last four in a row. The Yellow Jackets’ No. 1 team of Casey and Michael Kay, ranked No. 32 nationally, knocked off a pair of top-15 teams from Florida State and Notre Dame and have won five straight matches. The No. 2 team of Benito and Eubanks is 11-2, entering the ITA rankings this week at No. 64, and the third team of Rakitt and Li is 9-5.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “We have two very good teams at home this weekend. They will be great opportunities as well as a measuring stick of our competitive poise. Our focus is to do what we do well and to fight with every ounce of strength we have. On Sunday will be honoring our seniors Nathan and Casey who have definitely left our program in better shape than when they came. They are our co-captains and are very respected and liked by every team member. They deserve every bit of recognition they get on Sunday and after as they finish strong. Love to have our fans out in force to both matches.”
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.