Jan. 28, 2011
ATLANTA – Off to a strong start with wins over two ranked teams, Georgia Tech’s 23rd-ranked men’s tennis team goes on the road this weekend to play in the ITA National Kick-off Weekend in Athens, Ga.
Tech, which has beaten No. 60 USC Upstate at home and No. 56 South Carolina on the road, will face off against No. 20 North Carolina in the first round Saturday at 10 a.m. The Yellow Jackets will meet either No. 11 Georgia or No. 55 Oklahoma State Sunday (10 a.m. or 2 p.m.).
The Athens event is one of 15 such regional events this weekend. The 15 men’s teams that win both of their matches at these events will be invited to play in the Feb. 18-21 ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., hosted by the University of Washington.
“This weekend will tell exactly where we are as a team,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “We play a good #20 UNC team on Saturday morning. We seem to have tough battles with them each year so we look forward to it. We have played numerous times last fall and this fall on the UGA courts so our guys are comfortable there and know what to expect. We know the players well and it should be some good tennis.”
The Yellow Jackets have won all six doubles matches and all but one singles match in their first two outings of the spring. All-American Guillermo Gomez, ranked 12th nationally in singles with a 13-4 record, and returning All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Kevin King each have surrendered just six games in two matches. Gomez, a senior from Alicante, Spain, plays at the No. 1 spot for Tech, while King has played the No. 5 and 4 spot, improving to 6-4.
Juan Spir, a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, playing No. 2 in the lineup and ranked No. 48 nationally, had a test from Nick Jones of South Carolina last week, but won in straight sets nevertheless and advanced his record to 13-4. Eliot Potvin, a senior from Hampden, Maine, has won both his matches at No. 3 while working his way back from a difficult fall, and is now 6-7.
Sophomore Magin Ortiga of Cartagina, Colombia, has won a match each at No. 4 and No. 5 in the lineup, and is 8-6 in singles. The biggest improvement for the Yellow Jackets in singles has come from Dusan Miljevic, a junior from Novi Sad, Serbia, who went 13-5 in the fall and entered the ITA rankings at No. 93. Miljevic has won both his matches at No. 6 this spring.
All three of Tech’s doubles teams have played well. The 8th-ranked team of King and Spir have won their two matches by scores of 8-2 and 8-5 to improve to 17-4 on the year. Potvin and Smith, who spent last spring ranked in the nation’s top 50, have won twice this spring, while Gomez and senior Dean O’Brien have dropped just three games in their two wins.