Chattanooga, Tenn.--The Georgia State men's tennis team earned its first win under first-year head coach Joerg Barthel with a 5-2 victory at Chattanooga on Friday night.
The No. 63-ranked Panthers earned the doubles point but fell behind 2-1 in singles play before roaring back with four straight victories to seal the win. Junior Thomas Cook clinched the match with a 6-2, 6-3 win in the No. 2 singles position against Roberto Vieira, a three-time all-conference honoree.
"I'm very excited about my first win with the group, I feel like we competed very hard and to start the season on the road is never easy," Barthel said. "I'm really excited we got the win here because Chattanooga is a very dangerous team this year. They have a lot of senior leadership and they will be a strong team this year. But we also have a lot of leadership and it showed today."
One such leader is senior Lucas Santa Ana who began the Georgia State comeback with a decisive 6-0, 6-4, win in the No. 4 position against Pavel Grigorjevs. The win kicked-off a string of four consecutive singles victories to lead the Panthers to the win. Senior Victor Valente, Santa Ana's doubles partner and the No. 54-ranked player in the ITA National Singles rankings, followed closely with a 6-1, 6-3 win at the No. 1 position against Chris Smith.
After dominating in their first sets, Cook and junior Robert Schulze fought through competitive second sets and eventually cruised to straight-set wins. Cook finished off his match-clinching victory just before Schulze notched a 6-2, 6-4 win vs. Luke Saunders.
The Panthers (1-0) raced out to an early 1-0 lead by taking the first two doubles matches. Valente and Santa Ana teamed to earn a dominating 8-2 win in the No. 1 slot. Schulze teamed with sophomore Sofiane Chevallier to win an 8-5 match in the No. 2 position and clinch the doubles point against Chattanooga (0-1).
"I'm impressed in how we handled adversity in this match and finished very strong," Barthel said. "We had control the whole match against a dangerous team and that's a good sign. I'm very excited with how we played doubles and dictated play to begin the match."
Georgia State returns home for its home opener on Monday against Tennessee Tech. The match will be held at the Peachtree City Tennis Center with the start time set for 10 a.m.
Visit the men's tennis page for a preview of the match and check back following the match for a full recap. Live scoring will be available for the match on GeorgiaStateSports.com.
Georgia State 5, Chattanooga 2
1. #54 Victor Valente (GSU) def. Chris Smith (UTC) 6-1, 6-3
2. Thomas Cook (GSU) def. Roberto Vieira (UTC) 6-2, 6-3
3. Manuel Barroetavena (UTC) def. Paul Schuette (GSU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Lucas Santa Ana (GSU) def. Pavels Grigorjevs (UTC) 6-0, 6-4
5. Robert Schulze (GSU) def. Ankit Chopra (UTC) 6-2, 6-4
6. Luke Saunders (UTC) def. Chinmay Handa (GSU) 6-0, 6-2
1. Lucas Santa Ana/Victor Valente (GSU) def. Ankit Chopra/Roberto Vieira (UTC) 8-2
2. Robert Schulze/Sofiane Chevallier (GSU) def. Chris Smith/Luke Saunders (UTC) 8-5
3. Manuel Barroetavena/Jackson Tresnan (UTC) def. Thomas Cook/Paul Schuette (GSU) 8-6