Feb. 15, 2013
THE FLATS – Looking to get back on the winning track after a tough home loss to No. 6 Georgia last week, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team Ken Byers Tennis Complex at 4 p.m. Friday.
The Yellow Jackets (2-4), ranked 65th in this week’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, have dropped four straight matches since sweeping a Jan. 18 double-header at home against Old Dominion and Lipscomb. Three of those losses have come to teams ahead of Tech in the ITA rankings.
North Florida, ranked No. 62, is 2-4 overall this season with victories over William & Mary and Louisiana-Lafayette. Mercer comes to Atlanta winless in six matches, the closest being 4-3 decisions to Georgia Southern and Wofford.
Fans attending the match can park in the McCamish Pavilion parking lot, via 8th Street off Fowler Street, or in Lower Peters Parking Deck, at the intersection of Fowler and 4th Streets (there is a $5 charge to park in this deck).
“North Florida has an experienced team with some talented players. We are looking for a couple more players to settle in to their games this weekend,” said Tech head coach Kenny Thorne. “Our effort has been good but we need some more consistency from everyone. This is a great opportunity to step up for all our guys.”
Tech has enjoyed an advantage in doubles against most of its opponents this spring, anchored by the nation’s No. 3-ranked duo of Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal, who are 8-0 for the spring and 16-1 for the year, including a win over Georgia. The Yellow Jackets have won the doubles point in four of their matches, getting a 3-1 mark from the No. 2 pair of Juan Melian and Nathan Rakitt and a 1-2 record from Garrett Gordon and Eduardo Segura at No. 3.
Thorne hopes for better results from the top of his singles lineup, where No. 2 Melian, a senior from Las Palmas, Spain, who missed two matches with an ankle injury and Spir (Medellin, Colombia), ranked 32nd in the nation, has struggled out of the gate, losing all four of his spring dual matches. Melian played No. 1 against Georgia and fell, but Spir scored a victory at No. 2 against the Bulldogs for his first singles win of the spring.
Hundal, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., and Rakitt, a freshman from Marietta, Ga., have been Tech’s most solid performers. Hundal is 3-3 in dual matches playing primarily at No. 3, while Rakitt is 4-1 playing mostly at No. 4.
Thorne will fill out Tech’s lineup from a group including sophomore Segura (Madrid, Spain) and freshman Anish Sharma (Alpharetta, Ga.) filled the fifth and sixth singles positions against Georgia.