Feb. 16, 2010
ATLANTA – Facing its fifth consecutive ranked opponent this spring, the 40th-ranked Georgia Tech men’s tennis team ends a 10-day layoff Wednesday afternoon with a 2:30 p.m. match against No. 27 Auburn at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
The match with the Tigers (2-2) will be the fifth in a row for the Yellow Jackets (6-2) against a team ranked 54th or higher in the nation. The string began with No. 36 South Carolina, continued with matches in the ITA Kickoff Weekend against No. 54 Penn State and No. 11 Florida, and a road match at No. 7 Georgia. The Jackets begin ACC play Sunday against another ranked team, No. 18 Florida State, on the road.
Tech began the year with six straight dual-match wins before falling to Florida and Georgia on their home courts. Auburn has won its last two matches after dropping a pair to Duke and Arizona in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series, 25-14, but the Tigers have won the last two meetings.
“Auburn is a tough team,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “They beat us last year, and I know it will be a battle again this year. We had a very good week of practice last week which we needed, and the weekend without a match allowed us to get some injuries healed.”
Both teams feature a pair of nationally-ranked players. Tech has All-American Guillermo Gomez, a junior from Alicante, Spain, ranked No. 4, and sophomore Dusan Miljevic, a sophomore from Novi Sad, Serbia, who is No. 112. The Tigers boast the nation’s 24th-ranked player in junior Tim Puetz and the No. 86 player in sophomore Alexander Stamchev.
Gomez is enjoying a fine junior season, posting a 17-3 singles record this year and a 4-1 dual-match mark. He is 8-2 against nationally-ranked players, including a three-set win over Puetz in the ITA National Indoors in November. Miljevic is 13-5 overall, 4-4 in dual matches, and has won his only contest against a ranked player.
Thorne will fill the rest of Tech’s singles lineup from among junior Miguel Muguruza (Wesley Chapel, Fla.), who is 15-5, junior Dean O’Brien (Benmore, South Africa), who is 10-7, junior Eliot Potvin (Hampden, Maine), who is 12-6, and freshmen Magin Ortiga (Cartagina, Columbia), 11-7, and Juan Spir (Medellin, Colombia), 4-8.
“I know we feel we are a better team than our ranking shows and many of our opponents feel the same, it is simply time for us to prove it,” Thorne said. “I expect a very tough match this Wednesday and hope that many of our fans will come out to support us.”