ATLANTA--The No. 60-ranked
Georgia State men's tennis team hosts three high-profile matchups this weekend
as it takes on No. 61-ranked South Alabama, College of Charleston and George
Washington on three consecutive days.
UPDATE: Friday's 2 p.m. match vs. South Alabama has been moved to 7 p.m. to be played at the Peachtree City Tennis Center.
matches are scheduled to be played at their regularly-scheduled times at the
Blackburn Tennis Center. Due to inclement weather, back-up plans are in place
to play all of the matches on the indoor surfaces at the Peachtree City Tennis
Center. The decision to move any matches indoors will be made the morning of
each match day.
the weekend slate of matches is Georgia State's fourth match vs. a
nationally-ranked opponent on Friday. The Panthers are looking for their first
win in program history vs. the Jaguars in the ninth meeting in the all-time
series. The match also serves as the Georgia State men's tennis team's first
against a Sun Belt Conference opponent after its recent move to the conference.
A nationally-ranked singles showdown at the No. 1 position is the focal point
of the match as GSU's No. 75-ranked senior Victor Valente faces USA's No.
49-ranked Daniel Leitner. Valente and Leitner both own wins over
nationally-ranked opponents this spring.
three matches in three days is going to present a major challenge for our team
but I feel like we are ready to come out strong," first-year head coach Joerg
Barthel said. "We have had a good week of practice and we are eager to play our
first Sun Belt team since joining the league with South Alabama on Friday."
Alabama enters Friday's match after carrying a national ranking throughout the
entire beginning of the 2013 spring season. Leitner leads the team with a 5-0
record at the No. 1 singles position, including a 3-0 mark against
nationally-ranked opponents. He most recently defeated Mississippi State's No.
28-ranked Romain Bogaerts on Feb. 10. The Jaguars competed in the ITA Kick-Off
Weekend in Gainesville, Fla., where they notched an impressive 7-0 victory
against No. 56-ranked St. John's. The team is coached by former Georgia State
head coach and student-athlete Nick Brochu (2002-07) in his fifth season.
Alabama is a tough team that is well coached with a lot of talent," Barthel
said, "They are a nationally-ranked team this season and have been a nationally-recognized
program for years, they will be coming to Atlanta with a lot to play for."
College of Charleston is a yearly contender for the Southern Conference championship
following three-consecutive regular-season titles. Sixth-year head coach Jay Bruner
and the Cougars won the conference last season after reaching the finals the
year prior. Junior Brice Allanic leads the Cougars at the No. 1 position while
sophomore Sebastian Lopez owns two victories in the No. 2 slot. Charleston owns
two victories, a 5-2 triumph over Winthrop and a 4-3 win at Presbyterian. GSU
notched a hard-fought 5-2 victory last season, winning five of six singles
matches after dropping the doubles point.
of Charleston has won their conference a few times in the last couple of years
and brings a lot of talent on their side to Saturday's match," Barthel said.
State and George Washington will be meeting for the first time since the 1982
season when GSU notched a 9-0 victory. Sophomore Francisco Dias leads the
Colonials at the No. 1 position. He is the reigning 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference
Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer. Dias was a
nationally-ranked singles player last season and competed in the singles event
at the ITA All-American Championships last fall.
Washington has played a very strong schedule this season and have experience
playing nationally-ranked teams like us," Barthel said.
stats will be available courtesy of GeorgiaStateSports.com for all of GSU's
matches this weekend. Visit the men's tennis page following each match for a
full recap and list of results. Fans can also follow the men's tennis team on
Twitter at "@GSUMTennis" for live results.