ATLANTA--Georgia State senior Victor Valente earned his first ITA National Singles ranking at No. 54 in the latest list released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association today.

Valente's No. 54 ranking is the highest ITA singles ranking in Georgia State men's tennis history. It's the first time a GSU player has cracked the ITA singles rankings since Nejc Podkrajsek was ranked No. 122 in 2008. Valente's ranking exceeded the previous high of No. 72 set by Martin Stiegwardt in 2007.

"Victor's singles ranking is an outstanding achievement and the result of all of the hard work we do at Georgia State," first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said. "We want to get better as a team and as individuals and we are very proud of his achievement. The sky is the limit for him and we look forward to following his leadership this spring."

The Georgia State men's tennis team remained in the team national rankings at No. 63. The Panthers finished last year ranked No. 60, the second-consecutive season they finished the spring dual-match season nationally ranked.

"We are excited to get our season started, the guys are hungry to compete and work towards our goals for the season," Barthel said, "This ranking is nice to have but we want to finish the season strong as well."

Georgia State closed its fall season at the Winthrop Invitational in early November. Valente participated in the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in the fall after advancing to the finals at the ITA Regional Championships. The Panthers begin their first dual-match season under Barthel on Jan. 18 at Chattanooga. Visit the men's tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for updates on the offseason and a preview of the upcoming spring season.

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