ATLANTA--The No. 75-ranked Georgia State men's tennis team travels to Florida for two matches over the Georgia State University spring recess with a Wednesday match at FAU and a Friday contest at No. 70-ranked Miami.
The Panthers (8-7) are looking to get back on the courts after their Monday morning match vs. North Florida was rained out at the Blackburn Tennis Center. No makeup will be scheduled for the match. GSU previously defeated the Ospreys 4-3 at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in January.
Georgia State travels to Boca Raton, Fla., for Wednesday's conference showdown with FAU at 2 p.m. The Panthers and Owls will meet for the 19th time in series history but for the first time as Sun Belt Conference foes. GSU leads the all-time series 10-8. Georgia State and Miami are meeting for the first time since a Mar. 23, 2001 matchup the Hurricanes won 4-3 in Coral Gables, Fla. The Panthers and Hurricanes meet this time on Friday at 11 a.m.
"We are excited to play in the state of Florida against FAU and Miami," first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said, "FAU is another Sun Belt team and we look forward to playing them at their place. Miami is a nationally-ranked team and an ACC program with a deep tennis history. We feel like we match up well with them and it will be a close match that will come down to the very end."
FAU is 5-9 this season with a 4-3 win against Sun Belt foe Troy in early February. The Owls are led by senior Jose Fantova at the No. 1 position. Fantova owns a 5-4 record in singles play. Fantova pairs with sophomore Will Neuner at the No. 1 doubles position and owns a 5-1 record in the slot. The Owls will compete at the MTSU Shootout event with Georgia State from Mar. 30-31 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Miami is ranked No. 70 in the latest ITA National Team rankings. The Hurricanes own wins this season over No. 50 Rice (6-1), No. 75 Louisiana Lafayette (4-3), No. 55 USF (5-2), and No. 63 Georgia Tech (4-3). Friday's match will be the last non-conference match for Miami before it begins ACC play to close the regular-season. Junior Diego Soto leads Miami at the No. 1 singles position while junior Gabriel Flores owns a five-match winning streak in the No. 2 singles slot.
Several GSU student-athletes can rely on experience from the fall against Miami. Sophomore Sofiane Chevallier won a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 singles match against Miami sophomore Henrique Tsukamoto and paired with junior Robert Schulze to defeat Miami's Victor Mauz and Jack Murphy 8-3. GSU senior Victor Valente, ranked No. 67 in the latest ITA National Singles rankings, defeated Flores by a 6-3, 6-2 score in the fall. Valente and senior Lucas Santa Ana remained in the ITA National Doubles rankings this week at No. 38.
"We want to continue to improve our singles play and make sure we have six competitive courts in every match," Barthel said.
Georgia State is looking to bounce back from a 4-2 defeat at UAB last Wednesday. Santa Ana and Chevallier delivered singles victories for GSU in the match. Santa Ana earned his eighth singles win of the year while Chevallier won his second match in his last three tries.
Visit the men's tennis page following each match for a full recap and box score. Also check the Georgia State men's tennis team's Twitter at "@GSUMTennis" for updates on all results.