ATLANTA--The No. 59-ranked
Georgia State men's tennis team returns home to host Samford at the Sharon
Lester Tennis Center in Piedmont Park on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
match is Georgia State's (3-1) first in Atlanta this spring season after
hosting a match in Peachtree City last week. The Panthers are returning from
the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where they went 1-1. GSU
dropped a narrow 4-2 match against No. 55-ranked Arkansas before winning a 4-3
match vs. No. 63 North Florida last Saturday.
State, led by first-year head coach Joerg Barthel improved to No. 59 in the latest ITA National Team rankings. It is the
fourth time in the last seven seasons GSU has cracked the Top 60 during the
season. The Panthers jumped into the Top 60 last season twice at No. 54 (Apr.
14) and No. 55 (Apr. 21).
stellar play of senior Victor Valente and junior Thomas Cook continues to pace
the Panthers to start this season. Valente, the No. 54-ranked player in the ITA
National Singles rankings, is 2-1 and already has one victory over a
nationally-ranked opponent in singles play. He defeated UNF's Moritz Buerchner
(#72) in straight sets at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Cook is 4-0 in singles play
to begin the season and has clinched two GSU victories.
enters Sunday's match after winning a 5-2 match vs. Austin Peay last Saturday.
The Bulldogs won the doubles point by winning two doubles matches that went to
tiebreakers on courts No. 2 and 3. Two freshmen, Fares Kilani and Austin Akers,
then gave Samford a commanding 3-0 lead before its No. 1 player, senior Zac
Dunkle, clinched the match. Dunkle, from Atlanta, Ga., is one of two Georgia
natives on the team with junior Garrison Laduca (Woodstock, Ga.) being the
"Samford is a good team that has had a lot of success in recent years," Barthel said, "This will be a strong challenge for our guys as this will be our first outdoor match this season."
stats will be available from the Sharon Lester Tennis Center on the men's tennis
page on GeorgiaStateSports.com. Fans can also follow the men's tennis team on
Twitter at "@GSUMTennis" for live results. Visit the site following the match
for a full recap and results.