ATLANTA--For the second-consecutive year the Georgia State women's tennis team will remain in the state of Georgia for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend when it heads to the University of Georgia next January.

The No. 69-ranked Panthers qualified for the nationally-recognized event by finishing the year ranked in the top 75 of the ITA National Team Rankings. GSU, the No. 3 seed in the Athens regional, takes on second-seeded and No. 41-ranked Oklahoma State in the first round. Sixth-ranked Georgia battles No. 75 Columbia in the other first round matchup.

Georgia State returns to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend after competing in the 2012 ITA Kick-Off Weekend at Georgia Tech last season. The Panthers earned their first victory at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in school history with a 4-2 victory over No. 43 William & Mary in the consolation match.

"We are excited to have qualified for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend," fifth-year head coach Miha Lisac said. "Last year we won our first match in the event and we look to continue to put Georgia State women's tennis on the national radar in 2013.

The 60-team field, which includes 15 host schools, was selected based on the final ITA rankings from the 2011-12 campaign. Teams ranked behind the 15 host schools took turns selecting their regionals based on the final ITA rankings.

The ITA Kick-Off Weekend serves as the qualifier for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships which will be held next year from Feb. 8-11. The Indoor Championships will take place at the University of Virginia.

"All three teams at the Georgia regional are extremely tough," Lisac said, "Oklahoma State and Columbia have had outstanding programs for a long time and we look forward to the challenge of facing Oklahoma State in the first round. It will be a good measuring stick for our program."

Georgia State will play Oklahoma State on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 9 a.m. with the matches to continue the next day.

The Panthers return five starters from their 2011-12 team that went 11-7 and reached the finals of the CAA Championship. Sophomore Abigail Tere-Apisah became GSU's first ever women's tennis All-American last season after advancing to the Round of 16 at the 2012 NCAA Women's Singles Championship. Visit the women's tennis page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for complete coverage of the team's offseason preparations for the 2012-13 season.

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