Feb. 6, 2016
THE FLATS – Looking to snap a two-match skid, 44th-ranked Georgia Tech looks ahead to a big challenge on Saturday with a 3 p.m. match against No. 11 Georgia at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens.
TEAM UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets, No. 44 in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association after beginning the spring at No. 43, have lost two straight matches after a 3-0 start, falling to No. 12 UCLA (4-0) and No. 59 South Carolina (5-2) on their home courts the last two weekends. Tech had opened with a pair of home-court wins over East Tennessee State and Presbyterian, and downed a 46th-ranked New Mexico team in the opening round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
The Bulldogs (2-1) won both of their ITA Kick-Off Weekend matches at home over UC Santa Barbara and Memphis, then lost a 6-1 decision at UCLA and had their second match out West against Southern California rained out.
The teams faced each other three weeks ago in a hidden-dual match in Tech’s MLK Invitational, and the Bulldogs prevailed in five of the eight singles matches and three of the four doubles matches that were contested.
SINGLES UPDATE – The Yellow Jackets are led at the top of their lineup by 6-foot-7 sophomore Christopher Eubanks (Atlanta, Ga.), who has won all six of his spring matches to date, all in straight sets and including a 6-4, 7-5 decision over Oklahoma’s Axel Alvarez-Llamas, who finished last spring ranked No. 6. Eubanks, ranked No. 6 now, compiled an 11-4 record in the fall and reached the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, knocking off three ranked foes in the process.
The Jackets have struggled to find consistency below Eubanks in the lineup, however, compiling no better than a 2-2 mark at any other position. Junior Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) has manned the No. 2 spot in each match to date, going 2-3, and sophomore Michael Kay (Alpharetta, Ga.) has played every match as No. 3, going 1-3 with two no-decisions. Freshman Andrew Li (Hong Kong) has been the Jackets top performer other than Eubanks, winning three of four matches split over the bottom three spots in the order.
DOUBLES UPDATE – Casey and Michael Kay, ranked 36th in the nation, established themselves at the top of the lineup with a strong fall and have won all three of their decisions in dual matches this spring. Thorne has tried different combinations at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Eubanks is 4-1 playing with three different partners in five dual matches.
HEAD COACH Kenny Thorne SAYS – “The guys have a chance to check off one accomplished goal by the end of the day. In order to do so, we must compete like the champions we have made the goal to be. It’s never tough getting up for this match, but confident execution is what gets the job done. We will be ready.”
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.