Tallahassee, Fla.--Georgia State men's tennis senior Victor Valente knocked off Florida's No. 84-ranked Mike Alford 6-3, 6-1 to earn his first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent in his four-year career on day one at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships.
The win highlighted a successful first day for the Georgia State men's tennis team at the elite ITA Southeast Regional Championships hosted by Florida State University. The Panthers 6-1 combined in singles and doubles play.
Valente defeated the fourth-seeded Alford in dominating fashion and faces Georgia's Garrett Brasseaux in the second round on Friday. The senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, is coming off a dominating performance at the Georgia Southern Championships Oct. 5-7 in which he won the singles title of the Blue Draw.
Sophomore Sofiane Chevallier won two matches on Thursday and one on Friday in the qualifying draw to earn a spot in the singles main draw. He knocked off Juan Bolona (UCF) 7-5, 6-3, and Miami's Henrique Tsukamoto 7-6 (2), 6-1 on Thursday. He then won a 6-4, 6-3, match against UNF's Sean Bacha early Friday morning in the final round of the qualifying draw. Chevallier won his first round match in the main draw 7-5, 6-0, against Florida's Luke Johnson.
Senior Lucas Santa Ana defeated North Florida's Julien Belair 7-5, 6-2, in the first round of the singles main draw on Friday. Santa Ana faces Georgia's Austin Smith in the second round, one of the eight 9-16 seeds in the singles main draw. Junior Robert Schulze rallied to defeat UCF's Jorge Blasco 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round on Friday.
Chevallier and Schulze teamed in doubles to earn an 8-3 win against Miami's Victor Mauz/Jack Murphy in the first round of the doubles main draw. Valente and Santa Ana, one of GSU's most successful doubles in school history, earned an 8-6 win vs. Florida State's Joao Gauer and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez in the first round.
GSU, led by first-year head coach Joerg Barthel, continues play at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships on Saturday. Matches will continue throughout the weekend in Tallahassee, Fla., with the singles and doubles finals taking place on Monday. The singles and doubles winners from all 12 regional sites will earn bids to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.