Feb. 20, 2010
ATLANTA – Facing its sixth consecutive ranked opponent this spring, the 38th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s tennis team opens its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. match against 18th-ranked Florida State at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee, Fla.
The Yellow Jackets, 7-2 in dual matches this spring and coming off a stirring comeback victory over No. 27 Auburn Wednesday in Atlanta, have played five straight opponents ranked 54th in the nation or higher, beginning with No. 36 South Carolina on Jan. 24.
Tech began the year with six straight dual-match wins before falling to Florida and Georgia on their home courts. Florida State is 6-1, with its only loss coming to No. 32 Wisconsin on January 29.
“The ACC has six of the top 25 teams in the nation and FSU is one of them,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “We want to join them by knocking another out of the top 25. Florida State had a very good team and we will have to play well to beat them. We need to win a tough match on the road and this will be a good challenge for our guys to take pride in. We are getting better and that is what I am concerned with right now.”
Tech is led by All-American Guillermo Gomez, a junior from Alicante, Spain, ranked No. 3 in the nation. It is the highest ranking ever held by a Georgia Tech player. The Seminoles counter with the 56th-ranked player in Clint Bowles.
Players from Tech and FSU played one another seven times in fall tournaments, with the Yellow Jackets prevailing in four.
Gomez is enjoying a fine junior season, posting a 17-4 singles record this year and a 4-2 dual-match mark. He is 8-3 against nationally-ranked players, including a three-set win over Bowles in the D’Novo All-American Championships in October. The Yellow Jackets fell behind 3-1 in Wednesday’s match with Auburn, needing victories from their Nos. 4-5-6 positions to win the match. Freshman Juan Spir (Medellin, Columbia) began the comeback with a straight set win at No. 4, and Eliot Potvin (Hampden, Maine) rallied from a first-set loss to win at No. 5.
Kevin King, a sophomore from Peachtree City, Ga., seeing his first competition after an eight-month layoff due to a shoulder injury, clinched the match at No. 6 with a straight-set win.
Thorne will fill the rest of Tech’s singles lineup from among Potvin, who is 13-6 this year, Spir, who is 5-8, junior Miguel Muguruza (Wesley Chapel, Fla.), who is 15-5, junior Dean O’Brien (Benmore, South Africa), who is 10-8, and freshmen Magin Ortiga (Cartagina, Columbia), 11-8.