April 20, 2005
After completing the regular season with two conference wins last week, the No. 28 Georgia Tech men’s tennis team heads to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship this weekend. The Jackets (13-8, 5-5 ACC), seeded sixth, will face 11th seed Maryland (8-11, 0-10 ACC) Thursday at 12 p.m. at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, NC.
In their previous meeting this season, Tech defeated the Terrapins by a 7-0 score. In that match, the Jackets won in every match and has not dropped a point or last a match to Maryland since a 5-4 setback in 1992.
“I expect Maryland to come out very tough against us,” said head coach Kenny Thorne, has guided the Yellow Jackets to two ACC Tournament final appearances under his helm. “In the regular season against Maryland we won 7-0 but had some tough matches in singles and doubles. Every team gets up for the ACC tournament so we know we have to fight hard to win every match, and we will do that.”
Should the Yellow Jackets advance, they will advance to the quarterfinals to face third-seeded Florida State on Friday at 6 p.m. The semifinals will be played on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the finals on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Last season the Jackets fell in the quarterfinals to Clemson by a 4-3 score. In 2002, Tech reached the finals of the tournament before losing to North Carolina, 4-3. Tech has reached the finals of the ACC Tournament four times but has never captured the league title.
Sophomore Jose Muguruza, who is ranked 24th in the latest ITA poll, will lead the Yellow Jackets into this years event, as he is first on the team with a 26-12 singles record and is 12-8 in dual matches at the No. 1 spot. In doubles action, junior Marko Rajevac and freshman David North form Tech’s top doubles tandem with a 14-7 record in the spring and the duo is currently ranked 55th in the latest ITA poll.
Zachary Rath has also been one of the Jackets’ top singles performers this season, posting a 10-7 dual match record and a 21-15 overall mark this year, while playing primarily at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
“There is so much parity in our conference from top to bottom that I think this will be a very exciting tournament,” said Thorne. “There are a number of teams that could win it this year and our guys are working to be that team.”
Full results from the ACC Men’s Tennis Championship will be available at www.theacc.com with a full recap and livestats of all Tech matches posted at www.ramblinwreck.com.