June 30, 2011
ATLANTA – By virtue of its No. 13 final ranking in the spring, Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team will be one of 15 schools to host a four-team regional event in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend next season, Jan. 27-30, at the Bill Moore Tennis Center.
The Yellow Jackets, who finished the 2010-11 campaign 21-6 and advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA Championship, will host No. 17 Illinois, No. 18 North Carolina and No. 19 Auburn, with the winner advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, Feb. 17-20, hosted by the Boar’s Head Sports Club at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“We worked hard this past season to improve our ranking which allowed us to host this past season’s regionals,” said head coach Kenny Thorne. “By finishing the year ranked No. 13, we are now able to play at home for next year’s national team indoor championships beginning rounds. It is a big advantage playing on our courts in front of our fans, and our guys have played extremely well at home. We could have the toughest region in the nation with all four teams ranked in the top 20.”
The top 15 teams in the final Campbell/ITA national rankings are invited to host ITA Kick-Off events each year. The other hosts include Baylor, California, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio State, Pepperdine, NCAA champion Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA.
Tech will face Auburn, and Illinois will take on North Carolina in the first round. The winners and losers will meet each other the following day. The Yellow Jackets women’s team also is hosting an ITA Kick-Off Weekend event the same weekend, which includes South Carolina, William & Mary and Georgia State.
Exact dates for Tech’s regional will be announced at a later time, and the entire Yellow Jackets’ tennis schedule will be announced in late summer.
Tech returns four letterwinners from last year’s team, led by senior Kevin King of Peachtree City, Ga., and sophomore Juan Spir of Medellin, Colombia, who form the nation’s 9th-ranked doubles team and are both rated among the nation’s top singles players.