ATLANTA—The Georgia State men’s tennis team honored two of its best student-athletes in program history in seniors Lucas Santa Ana and Victor Valente prior to defeating Troy 5-2 on Saturday afternoon.
GSU (12-10) earned an important win against a Sun Belt Conference foe as it builds momentum towards next weekend’s Sun Belt Conference Championship. Both Valente and Santa Ana were playing in their final home matches on Saturday and both ended their careers with a doubles and singles victory. Valente, ranked No. 76 in the ITA National Singles rankings, breezed to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles against Troy’s Anas Rouchdi. Santa Ana won a 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 match at No. 4 singles vs. Daniel Bustamante.
Valente and Santa Ana, ranked No. 44 in the ITA National Doubles rankings, defeated Troy’s top pairing of Mansingh Athare and Sami Ghorbel by an 8-2 score. The win improved Santa Ana and Valente to 13-1 on the season in doubles play.
“We were able to get up 3-0 very fast on Troy and it took us a little longer to close out,” first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said. “It was a good day for our seniors, they won singles and doubles and I’m glad they were able to finish their careers strong.”
The Panthers are expected to be the No.2 or 3 seed in next weekend’s Sun Belt Conference Championship. The tournament begins on Thursday as Georgia State will take on either the No. 6 or 7 seed in the first round.
Sophomore Sofiane Chevallier clinched the match with a three-set victory at the No. 6 singles position. He defeated Troy’s Patrick Eichler by a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 score to give GSU its fourth team point and seal the match. Junior Thomas Cook took the first set of his match by a 6-1 margin before he won his match via a retirement.
Cook paired with freshman Paul Schuette to clinch the doubles point for GSU on Saturday. The two won an 8-2 match at the No. 3 position following a win by Santa Ana and Valente at the top spot.
“We look forward to competing at the Sun Belt Conference Championship next week,” Barthel said, “We’ve worked all year to put ourselves in a good position to be a good seed in the tournament so now it’s a matter of getting it done in the tournament.”
Visit the men’s tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for a preview of the Sun Belt Conference Championship next week.