April 22, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team, coming off one of its biggest wins in years, takes that momentum into the opening round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship, where they will face 35th-ranked Notre Dame at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Cary (N.C.) Tennis Center.
MATCH INFORMATION – All matches in the ACC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships take place, weather permitting, at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. Inclement weather may force some matches indoors on the campuses of Duke or North Carolina. Tickets for the championship are $8 for a day pass or $15 for the entire tournament. First-round matches take place Thursday, with quarterfinals Friday, semi-finals Saturday and the championship match Sunday.
TEAM UPDATES – Georgia Tech (12-11, 4-8 ACC) snapped a seven-match ACC losing streak when it toppled eighth-ranked Duke, 4-3, Sunday in its final regular-season contest. The Yellow Jackets, No. 55 in this week’s ITA national rankings, received the No. 10 seed for the tournament, while Notre Dame (14-10, 6-6 ACC) went 2-5 in its last seven ACC matches and earned the No. 7 seed. The winner of the Tech-Notre Dame match advances to face No. 2 seed Virginia Tech (19-3, 10-2), 14th in the ITA rankings, at 9 a.m. in Friday’s quarterfinals.
NOTABLE – The top three seeds – Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest – all received first-round byes and begin competition in the quarterfinals … Eleven of the 12 ACC teams are ranked No. 75 or higher in the ITA rankings, five of those No. 16 or higher … Tech’s No. 55 ITA ranking is its highest of the year; the Jackets previous high was No. 72 back in late January … Notre Dame defeated Tech, 6-1, on March 22 in South Bend, Ind., with freshman Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) getting the Yellow Jackets’ only point with a three-set decision over Alex Lawson at the No. 5 position … Tech is 0-2 all-time against Notre Dame in men’s tennis, 6-9 vs. Virginia Tech … Tech’s last ACC Tournament win was a 4-1 opening-round decision over Miami in 2011; the Jackets have lost in the first round each of the last three years.
SINGLES UPDATE – Freshman Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who has played at the top of Tech’s lineup in 15 of Tech’s 23 matches this spring, is ranked 61st in this week’s ITA singles rankings. The freshman has three wins over opponents ranked in the top 20 and is 6-9 at the top spot, 13-10 in dual matches overall. Sophomore Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain), who is 17-7 this spring, has played every spot in the lineup except No. 1, and has a 4-5 mark at his current No. 2 position. His victory over Raphael Hemmeler was the deciding point in Tech’s victory over Duke.
Junior Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.), freshman Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.), sophomore Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.) and senior Eduardo Segura (Madrid, Spain) will play 3-through-6 in the lineup. Fiegel has had a strong spring with a 16-7 dual match record, while Segura is 12-9 in dual matches and a team-best 27-14 in singles for the year.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Tech has won the doubles point in 12 of 23 matches this spring. The Yellow Jackets lost the doubles point in eight straight matches, however, before taking it against Duke Sunday. Benito and Segura, No. 87 in the ITA doubles rankings, moved back into the top spot against Duke and earned an 8-7 victory to clinch the doubles point for Tech. They are 10-5 at that position this spring. Eubanks and Kay played No. 1 the previous two weekends for the Jackets, but will be back in the No. 2 spot this week, where they are 6-4. Rakitt and Fiegel are 5-1 at No. 3, 6-3 overall this spring.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne ON BREAKING THROUGH AGAINST DUKE – “We’ve had several close (4-3) losses this spring, and we have kept telling the guys they are doing the right things, but eventually, you’ve got to get the win. On Sunday, they saw that and took advantage of it. It will definitely help us going into the ACC Tournament, which is a really tough tournament.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S TENNIS
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 17th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 14 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.