Wilmington, N.C.—Senior Victor Valente knocked off a Top-40 ranked singles opponent to highlight the Georgia State men’s tennis team’s 5-2 loss at UNCW on Sunday.

Valente, ranked No. 107 in the ITA National Singles rankings, defeated UNCW’s No. 36-ranked Rafael Aita by a 6-4, 6-3 margin at the No. 1 singles position. The win was Valente’s sixth against a nationally-ranked opponent on the season. It was the highest ranked opponent Valente has defeated this spring season. It was also the senior’s 75th career singles victory.

“I thought we played fairly well, we were right there in singles, but obviously today was a great win for Victor,” first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said, “Other than that we are concerned with playing our best tennis at the end of the season.”

Georgia State (11-9) could not climb out of an early hole after losing the doubles point against UNCW (14-4). Valente’s win and a win from senior Lucas Santa Ana at the No. 4 position provided the Panthers’ points on the day. Santa Ana won a 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-2) match against UNCW’s Kosta Blank.

“We did not play good doubles today, we had our chances there but didn’t capitalize on them,” Barthel said, “At the end of the day we are playing well and coming together as a team. We are in a very good position to grab a high seed in the Sun Belt Championship. We have to finish off the season strong against Troy and then obviously carry that into the tournament.”

Junior Robert Schulze and sophomore Sofiane Chevallier, the No. 8-ranked doubles team in the ITA Southeast Regional rankings, earned an 8-5 victory in the No. 3 position against UNCW’s team of Michael Reilly and Kaue Pereira. The team improved to 6-3 with the doubles win.

The Panthers finish up the regular season on Saturday, April 13 against Troy at the Blackburn Tennis Center (1 p.m.). GSU will hold Senior Day ceremonies that day to honor its two seniors, Victor Valente and Lucas Santa Ana. Visit the men’s tennis page at GeorgiaStateSports.com for a preview of the match.

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