ATLANTA--The No. 60-ranked Georgia State men's tennis team battled to a 5-2 victory on Saturday vs. local-rival Georgia Southern at the Blackburn Tennis Center.
Senior Victor Valente scored the match-clinching victory at No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-4, win over Georgia Southern's Matthijs Verdam. Valente climbed back from 4-1 down in the second set to win five straight games and close out the match.
The Panthers (5-1) won the doubles point and received two singles victories from junior Robert Schulze and freshman Andrew Zedde before Valente's clincher. Schulze first won a 6-3, 6-4 match at No. 6 singles. Zedde earned his first collegiate singles victory with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, win at No. 4 singles vs. Oliver Webb. A native of Canberra, Australia, Zedde climbed back from 5-0 down in the first set to win the set in a tiebreaker.
I thought our doubles play was good because it seemed like everyone got off to a good start in doubles and I thought we executed well," Georgia State assistant coach Cesar Vargas said. "After doubles, everybody ended up being down in singles play, forcing them all to come back. We definitely need to have a better attitude tomorrow and I hope this was an eye opener for our team."
Georgia State got off to a quick start in doubles play when its regionally-ranked doubles pair of Schulze and sophomore Sofiane Chevallier posted a quick 8-2 win at the No. 2 position. Schulze and Chevallier are ranked No. 8 in the ITA Southeast Region Doubles rankings. Following their victory, seniors Valente and Lucas Santa Ana won 8-3 at the No. 1 position to clinch the doubles point.
Georgia Southern (1-1) tied that match at 1-all before Schulze, Zedde and Valente notched consecutive victories to clinch the match. Santa Ana closed play for the day with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles against Albert Codina Sala.
"I was a bit disappointed to see that our strong play at Georgia Southern's fall tournament got to our heads a bit," Vargas said. "Once we realized that we were all down in singles, the light went on and for the most part we started competing the way we normally do. If we are going to improve enough to start competing against the nationally-ranked teams, such as ETSU and Nebraska next weekend, we cannot show up one weekend and then let up on others. I expect us to be ready tomorrow."
The win improved GSU's all-time mark against Georgia Southern to 15-9 (.625). Georgia State, led by first-year head coach Joerg Barthel, returns tomorrow for a 9 a.m. match vs. Nicholls State at the Blackburn Tennis Center. Live stats will be available for the match on the men's tennis page at GeorgiaStateSports.com.
#60 Georgia State 5,
Georgia Southern 2
1. #54 Victor Valente (GSU) def. Matthijs Verdam (GSO) 6-3, 6-4
2. Andrew Dromsky (GSO) def. Thomas Cook (GSU) 6-3, 6-4
3. Lucas Santa Ana (GSU) def. A. Codina Sala (GSO) 7-5, 6-2
4. Andrew Zedde (GSU) def. Oliver Webb (GSO) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
5. Rayane Djouad (GSO) def. Sofiane Chevallier (GSU) 6-7, 7-5, 6-3
6. Robert Schulze (GSU) def. Marco Osorio (GSO) 6-3, 6-4
1. Victor Valente/Lucas Santa Ana (GSU) def. Andrew Dromsky/Oliver Webb (GSO) 8-3
2. Robert Schulze/Sofiane Chevallier (GSU) def. Patrick Doherty/Carson Jones (GSO) 8-2
3. Rayane Djouad/Marco Osorio (GSO) def. Thomas Cook/Andrew Zedde (GSU) 8-7 (8-6)