Jan. 29, 2010
ATLANTA – Off to a 5-0 start in the dual match season, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team makes its first road trip of the spring, visiting Gainesville, Fla., to face Penn State in the opening round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked 39th in the country, face the No. 54 Nittany Lions at 2 p.m. Saturday, while host Florida, the 11th-ranked team, meets No. 59 Furman at 10 a.m. The winners will meet at 1 p.m. Sunday for the right to advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, Feb. 12-15 at the Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.
Whether it wins or loses Friday, Tech is guaranteed two matches. The losing teams from Saturday’s play will face-off Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
“This kickoff weekend for National Indoors is a good opportunity to see where our team is up against the best teams in the nation,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “We play a tough Penn State team, and we are excited to be going. It will be good to get on the road and work on competing well away from home, which is important to our entire season.”
Tech has won three of its dual matches without its All-American Guillermo Gomez, who sprained an ankle in the opener against UAB. The junior from Alicante, Spain, the nation’s No. 4-ranked singles player, returned to the court last Sunday and defeated South Carolina’s Diego Cubas (No. 48) in three sets.
Gomez, who enjoyed a stellar fall season, is 15-2 in singles this year, including a 7-1 mark against nationally-ranked players. He was the co-champion of the Southern Intercollegiate in the fall, and made the finals of the ITA National Singles Championship.
Tech also has gotten excellent play from juniors Eliot Potvin (Hampden, Maine) and Dean O’Brien (Benmore, South Africa), both of whom are 5-0 in singles in the dual season and will play the No. 3-4 spots in the lineup. O’Brien, 10-4 overall in singles this year, has won all five of his dual matches in straight sets. Potvin and O’Brien have teamed up to win four of their five doubles matches as well this spring.
Also in the Tech singles lineup for the Kickoff Weekend are junior Miguel Muguruza (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) at No. 5, 15-4 this year in singles (4-1 dual), sophomore Dusan Miljevic (Novi Sad, Serbia) at No. 6, who has a 12-3 singles mark (3-2 dual), and freshman Juan Spir (Medellin, Colombia), who is 4-6 in singles (1-3 dual) and will play at No. 2.
Gomez and junior Ryan Smith (Roswell, Ga.) will team up at the No. 1 double position, where they are 1-1 this spring, while O’Brien and Potvin will play at No. 2, and Muguruza and Spir will play No. 3. Muguruza and Spir are 5-0 playing doubles together this spring.