May 9, 2006
The Georgia Tech men’s tennis team, ranked 30th in the latest ITA poll with an 11-9 overall record, faces No. 38 Alabama (14-12) in the first round of the NCAA Regional, being held in Athens, Ga.
The Jackets will begin play Saturday at 12 p.m. ET at the Dan McGill Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Georgia. Immediately following Tech’s match, top-seeded Georgia (25-0) will face Furman (20-10).
This will be the second time this season that Georgia Tech and Alabama have faced one another. The two teams met in February in Atlanta with the Yellow Jackets winning by a 6-1 score.
“We will have a tough match against Alabama, who played very well the second part of the season,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “Their coach, Billy Pate, has done a great job with their team throughout the season to get them where they are now.”
The first-round winners will then face each other Sunday at 2 p.m. ET to determine which team will advance to the NCAA Championship round which will be held in Palo Alto, Calif., on the campus of Stanford University.
The Yellow Jackets begin the tournament, as they have all season, with just six players on the roster. Tech is led by senior Marko Rajevac, who has played in the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles slot all season. An All-American in 2005, Rajevac teams with David North in doubles and the two are currently ranked No. 52 in the latest ITA Doubles Rankings.
“When you have only six guys on a team, every detail of preparation is extremely important,” said Thorne. “We take pride in preparing so even though we are a small team, we will be ready. I am proud of what these guys have done all year and I know they are excited about simply competing. When we compete well, we are a very dangerous team.”
After earning an at-large bid, the Jackets have now been selected six consecutive years to postseason play, and Thorne has led his teams to the tournament in seven of the eight years that he’s been at the helm of the program.
For more information regarding tournament results, livestats, ticket prices, and directions, fans may visit: http://georgiadogs.collegesports.com/sports/m-tennis/m-tennis-history/06-championships/index.html