Boca Raton, Fla.—On a hot and humid day in Boca Raton, Fla., the Georgia State men’s tennis team fought the elements and a gritty Florida Atlantic team to earn a 4-2 win, its second Sun Belt Conference victory of the season.
Georgia State improved to 9-7 with the win and stays in southern Florida for a match this Friday at No. 65-ranked Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since 2001.
Junior Robert Schulze ran his singles winning streak to five consecutive matches with a 6-2, 7-6 victory in the No. 4 position. Schulze defeated FAU’s Robert Dubuque to improve his singles record to 11-4 in his first season with the Panthers. Senior Victor Valente, ranked No. 67 in the latest ITA National Singles rankings, got back on the winning track with an efficient 6-2, 6-2 win at the No. 1 position. Valente is now 11-3 on the season in singles play.
Sophomore Sofiane Chevallier rebounded in his match to take a 1-6, 7-6, 6-1 victory to give GSU a 3-2 lead in the team score. The match came down to the No. 3 match with GSU junior Thomas Cook and FAU freshman Andrei Morin-Kougoucheff entering the third set. Cook clinched the Georgia State win by taking the third-set tiebreaker to earn a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory.
“I am very proud of our effort today; this was a very big road win for us,” first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said. “Any win against a conference opponent is great, especially on the road. The weather gave us a struggle and FAU is a tough team, but we dug deep and came together as a team today.”
With Cook’s singles victory, the Panthers clinched the match in singles play with four points. The singles win snapped a nine-match slide for Cook. Doubles was not played due to the match-clinching singles win.
Georgia State improved its all-time advantage to 11-8 in the 19th meeting between the two schools on Wednesday.
The Panthers have one more Sun Belt Conference match scheduled this season on Apr. 13 vs. Troy. The match will be Georgia State’s annual Senior Day match to honor its two seniors in Lucas Santa Ana and Valente.
“I can’t emphasize enough how excited I am about winning a Sun Belt Conference match on the road against FAU,” Barthel said, “We put together a good match and now we look forward to playing at Miami.”
Several Panthers can rely on experience from this fall in their matches against Miami. Chevallier won a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 singles match against Miami sophomore Henrique Tsukamoto and paired with Schulze to defeat Miami’s Victor Mauz and Jack Murphy 8-3. Valente defeated Gabriel Flores by a 6-3, 6-2 score in the fall.
Visit the men’s tennis page following Friday’s 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.