April 21, 2010
ATLANTA – By virtue of its victory over Virginia Tech in its final regular-season match last Sunday, Georgia Tech’s 24th-ranked men’s tennis team earned the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Tennis Championship in Cary, N.C.
The Yellow Jackets, 16-6 overall and 7-4 in the ACC, will play a quarterfinal match at 12 noon Friday against the No. 5-seeded and 20th-ranked Hokies, who defeated No. 12 seed Boston College, 4-0, on Thursday afternoon.
The ACC Men’s and Women’s Championships are being played concurrently Thursday through Sunday at the Cary Tennis Park. Top-ranked Virginia (32-1, 11-0 ACC), winner of a record 58 consecutive matches vs. ACC competition, is the top seed and one of seven ACC teams ranked No. 27 or higher in the latest ITA national rankings. The Cavaliers have won the last three ACC titles.
The men’s championship match is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday.
Tech’s victory over the Hokies Sunday stopped a three-match losing streak and gave the Yellow Jackets some momentum heading into the tournament.
“One of our goals this year was to earn a bye in the ACC Tournament,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “Now that we have it and it is tournament time, our goal is to enjoy the competition and to win. I enjoy getting on the bus with these guys. They are fighters. We hope to have some good support in Cary because we have some loyal alumni from that area.”
Guillermo Gomez, the Yellow Jackets’ No. 1 singles player ranked third in the ITA rankings, defeated the top players from Virginia (No. 6 Michael Shabaz) and Virginia Tech (No. 60 Yoann Re) over the weekend and finished the conference schedule 8-2 in singles. The junior from Alicante, Spain, is 13-5 against ranked players this year.
The Jackets’ No. 2 player, Kevin King, stopped a personal three-match skid to defeat No. 66 Luka Somen of Virginia Tech, 6-1, 6-1, Sunday and went 8-3 in ACC matches this spring. The sophomore from Peachtree City, Ga., is 11-3 overall in singles after returning to the court Feb. 17 following an eight-month layoff with a shoulder injury.
Eliot Potvin, a junior from Hampden, Maine, who has played primarily at No. 3 for the Yellow Jackets, put together a 6-5 conference slate and of 15-7 in dual match singles this spring.
Head coach Kenny Thorne also has gotten good performances from junior Miguel Muguruza of Wesley Chapel, Fla., who won the deciding match Sunday at No. 4 and improved his dual match record to 10-6 overall and 5-4 against the conference. Freshmen Magin Ortiga of Cartagina, Colombia (13-7, 6-5) and Juan Spir of Medellin, Colombia (9-8, 5-3) have given the Jackets solid play at No. 5 and 6 singles.
On the doubles front, Thorne paired King and Spir at No. 1 and Potvin and Ryan Smith (junior, Marietta, Ga.) at No. 2 several matches back, and the Jackets have gone 6-3 in the doubles point since. Potvin and Smith have won eight of nine matches at No. 2 and are now ranked 46th in the nation, while the King/Spir tandem is 8-4.
The tournament will also include the nation’s top-ranked doubles team (Duke’s Henrique Cunha and Reid Carleton). Tech’s Gomez, Duke’s Cunha (No. 7), Virginia’s Michael Shabaz (No. 9), Virginia’s Sanam Singh (No. 15) and Wake Forest’s Steven Forman (No. 27) all entered this week ranked among the nation’s Top 27 singles players.
Action begins with first-round matches on Thursday and continues through Sunday’s 11 a.m. championship match. Please see the pairings below or the attached bracket for the full schedule.
2010 ACC Men’s Tennis Championship
April 22-25; Cary Tennis Park
Thursday, April 22 – First round
9 a.m. – #8 Miami (10-10, 4-6) vs. #9 NC State (15-11, 3-8)
12 p.m. – #5 Virginia Tech (14-6, 7-4) vs. #12 Boston College (9-15, 0-11)
12 p.m. – #7 Florida State (13-8, 6-5) vs. #10 Clemson (17-9, 3-8)
3 p.m. – #6 Wake Forest (13-8, 7-4) vs. #11 Maryland (13-12, 1-10)
Friday, April 23 – Quarterfinals
9 a.m. – #1 Virginia (32-1, 11-0) vs. Miami-NC State winner
12 p.m. – #4 Georgia Tech (16-6, 7-4) vs. Virginia Tech-Boston College winner
12 p.m. – #2 Duke (16-7, 9-2) vs. Florida State-Clemson winner
3 p.m. – #3 North Carolina (17-5, 7-3) vs. Wake Forest-Maryland winner
Saturday, April 24 – Semifinals
10 a.m. – Friday morning vs. first Friday 12 p.m. winner
1 p.m. – Second Friday 12 p.m. winner vs. Friday 3 p.m. winner
Sunday, April 25 – Championship
11 a.m. – Saturday winners