April 12, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech completes its regular season this weekend with a pair of important Atlantic Coast Conference matches Friday at 36th-ranked NC State (16-8, 2-6 ACC) and Sunday Wake Forest (11-12, 2-6). The Yellow Jackets are looking to improve their seeding for next week’s ACC Championship as well as their prospects for a third consecutive NCAA regional bid.
Tech, 9-10 overall, 4-5 in the ACC and currently ranked 60th in the ITA poll, came out of last weekend’s action in a tie for sixth place in the ACC standings after a split their final two home matches of the season – a 5-2 win over Virginia Tech and a 6-1 loss to No. 2 Virginia. The Wolfpack enter the final regular-season weekend with a 17-8 overall record and a 3-6 ACC mark, while the Demon Deacons are 11-13 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
“It’s always a tough challenge on the road in the ACC,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “NC State has played very well this season. It will be an opportunity for us to see how far we have come this season. We have definitely improved from early in the season, but improvement has to translate into wins. NC State and Wake are both tough teams and our guys are looking forward to the challenge.”
King is completing one of the best careers ever for a Georgia Tech tennis player. The senior from Peachtree City, Ga., a two-time All-ACC player, has been ranked as high as 7th in the nation in singles (currently 21st), won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional and has compiled a 79-39 career record. He and Spir are have compiled a 64-21 record all-time and are 14-2 this spring.
King has a 13-5 mark playing No. 1 singles this spring, and is 27-8 overall this year, but suffered a straight-set loss to Virginia Tech and missed the Virginia match last weekend when he developed a sore shoulder.
Spir has played a solid No. 2 for Tech this spring, winning his last four consecutive matches, all against ranked opponents, to improve his spring record to 13-6 and his national ranking to 48th, the highest of his career. Spir subbed for King at the top singles position Sunday and defeated Virginia’s Jarmere Jenkins, ranked No. 3 in the nation, in straight sets.
Dusan Miljevic, Tech’s other senior, began the spring playing No. 4 and junior Juan Melian No. 3, but Thorne switched the two for the Miami match on March 13, and the move has proved good for both players. Miljevic, 6-11 this spring, has gone 3-3 since the switch, while Melian, a junior from Las Palmas, Spain, has gone 5-2 and is 11-7 for the spring.
Thorne also shuffled the doubles lineup several matches ago and paired Miljevic with Segura at No. 3, and that pairing has produced an 8-7 record. Tech has won the doubles point in five of its last eight matches.