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Jackets Host Georgia in Battle of Top Teams

Feb. 11, 2011

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ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s 21st-ranked men’s tennis team caps a big week of home court action by hosting cross-state rival and 11th-ranked Georgia 1 p.m. Saturday at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Tech campus.

Admission is free for the match, which also is the cornerstone event in a weekend reunion of Georgia Tech alumni players. Tech will honor its All-Americans, both men and women, and the 2007 women’s national championship team, between the doubles and singles portions of Saturday’s match.

Parking is available for the match along Fowler St. outside the tennis center and in the Alexander Memorial Coliseum lot.

The Yellow Jackets (5-1) bring a three-match winning streak into Saturday’s event, and are undefeated at home this season, and have not lost a singles or doubles match in those three contests. Tech blanked Georgia State, 7-0, in its most recent match Wednesday afternoon. Georgia, also 5-1, has shut out four opponents this season, including a 7-0 decision Wednesday against East Tennessee State.

Tech’s only loss was a 4-3 decision to North Carolina in the ITA Kick-off Weekend in Athens. Georgia’s only loss was a 6-1 decision to Ohio State in Columbus. The Bulldogs defeated North Carolina, 4-1, in the ITA Kick-Off. Both teams defeated Oklahoma State that weekend.

“If you have never seen a college tennis match, then this match needs to be your first,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “We are going to have the best college tennis players in the nation facing up against each other in our rivalry with Georgia. We have a lot of contrasting game styles battling against each other so it will be a great all-around match.”

All-American Guillermo Gomez, who won his 101st career singles match Saturday, will look to continue his climb up the Tech career singles wins chart. The senior from Alicante, Spain, who is ranked 12th in the nation and has a 16-5 overall singles record at the No. 1 position, is tied with Bryan Shelton, Tech’s current women’s coach, on the singles victory chart. Thorne, who played at Tech from 1985-88, tops the list with 112.

Meanwhile, junior Kevin King (No. 4 in the lineup) of Peachtree City, Ga., looks to stay undefeated in the spring, having won all five of his matches (his match against Mississippi State was unfinished after the Jackets clinched the match) in the dual season to improve to 9-4.

Juan Spir, a sophomore from Medellin, Colombia, is 5-1 at the No. 2 position this spring, 16-5 overall, and Eliot Potvin, a senior from Hampden, Maine, has gotten his game back on track with a pair of wins over Mississippi State and Georgia State and is 4-2 at the No. 3 position.

Sophomore Magin Ortiga (Cartagina, Colombia) has won three straight matches at No. 5 and is 4-1 this spring (11-6 overall).

King and Spir are 4-1 at the No. 1 doubles position after pulling out a couple of close decisions against Mississippi State and Georgia State. Potvin and Ryan Smith are 5-1 at No. 2, and Gomez and Dean O’Brien are undefeated (6-0) at the No. 3 spot.

The Bulldogs won last year’s match in Athens, 5-2, and shut out the Jackets in Atlanta on their last visit. Tech has not beaten Georgia since 1988, a 5-4 decision in Athens.

“We are honoring our men’s and women’s All-Americans during the match so quite a few former Georgia Tech players will be present,” said Thorne. “Atlanta is a great tennis city and I expect quite a few people will come out to this match. I look forward to seeing our Yellow Jacket fans out there on Saturday.”

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