ATLANTA—The Georgia State men’s tennis team renews its rivalry with UNCW this Sunday with a match at Noon in Wilmington, N.C.
On the cusp of cracking the ITA National Team rankings, Georgia State (11-9) looks to build off a successful weekend in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Sunday against the No. 57-ranked Seahawks (13-4). The Panthers reached the finals of the MTSU Shootout by winning a 4-1 match vs. Illinois State and a 4-2 contest against No. 72-ranked Elon. The Panthers dropped a 4-2 match in the finals to No. 43-ranked Middle Tennessee State.
Georgia State and UNCW have met four times the past two seasons. Each time the Panthers have won the regular-season contest with the Seahawks exacting revenge in the conference tournament. Overall, GSU owns a 5-3 all-time advantage over UNCW.
“UNCW is a nationally-ranked team this year and has been in the national rankings the past three years straight,” first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said, “They present a big challenge for us. At this point of the season I feel like we are playing our best tennis and we are coming together as a team.”
Senior Victor Valente looks for a landmark 75th career singles victory on Sunday. He is ranked No. 107 in the latest ITA National Singles rankings. His opponent, UNCW junior Rafael Aita, is ranked No. 36 in the nation. Valente owns a 14-4 singles record in dual-match play this season with a 5-2 record vs. nationally-ranked foes.
Sunday will also feature a nationally-ranked showdown at the No. 1 doubles position. Valente pairs with senior Lucas Santa Ana to form the No. 38-ranked pair in the nation. The two take on UNCW’s No. 18-ranked Chris Cooprider and Kosta Blank. UNCW also features a No. 42-ranked doubles team in the second slot with Aita and sophomore Sam Williams.
Junior Robert Schulze looks to build on a three-match singles winning streak on Sunday. He went a perfect 3-0 in singles matches last weekend at the MTSU Shootout.
Visit the men’s tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for a full recap of the match on Sunday.