ATLANTA--The Georgia State men's tennis team fought back from dropping the doubles point and a 3-2 deficit in singles play to win a 4-3 match against Sun Belt Conference foe Louisiana Lafayette on Saturday.
The Panthers (8-6) trailed the Ragin' Cajuns (7-7) by a 3-2 margin when the match came down to the No. 3 and 4 singles matches. Senior Lucas Santa Ana fought back from dropping the first set to win the second set and force a third set at the No. 3 spot while junior Robert Schulze did the same at the No. 4 position.
Santa Ana fell down a break in the third set, but eventually rallied to win a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 match at the No. 3 slot. Schulze then earned match point during the third set before a point penalty on the No. 3 court carried over to the No. 4 court and clinched the win for GSU. Schulze won 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 in his match against Louisiana's Jarred Wynan.
"Today was a great win for us after losing the doubles point," first year head coach Joerg Barthel said, "I thought Lucas and Robert gave great efforts today. Lucas' opponent was playing good and I'm really glad he hung in there and put us in a situation to win the match. We are going to take the momentum of this win into a tough stretch of our schedule."
Beginning the Panthers' rally was senior Victor Valente, the No. 81 ranked player in the ITA National Singles rankings. He kicked-off singles play with a 6-1, 6-3 victory against Louisiana's Rick de Groot in the No. 1 position. Valente improved to 11-2 on the season in singles play.
Freshman Paul Schuette was impressive in a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory at the No. 5 position against Louisiana's Edgar Lopez. The win was Schuette's third singles victory of the season.
Valente and Santa Ana improved to 12-0 this season with an 8-4 win at the No. 1 doubles position. The two are coming off a win vs. the No. 3-ranked doubles pair in the nation last week.
The win was GSU's first Sun Belt victory since the team joined the conference prior to the season. The Panthers travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday next week for a match against UAB. Visit the men's tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for a preview of the match.
Georgia State 4, Louisiana 3
1. #81 Victor Valente (GSU) def. Rick de Groot (UL) 6-1, 6-3
2. Jake Wynan (UL) def. Thomas Cook (GSU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Lucas Santa Ana (GSU) def. Hunter Johnson (UL) 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Robert Schulze (GSU) def. Jarred Wynan (UL) 6-7, 7-5, 6-2
5. Paul Schuette (GSU) def. Edgar Lopez (UL) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Damian Farinola (UL) def. Sofiane Chevallier (GSU) 6-4, 6-1