ATLANTA—The Georgia State men’s tennis team travels to Lafayette, La., to begin play as the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference Championship beginning on Thursday.

The Panthers (12-10) take the courts in Lafayette on Thursday for their opening-round match against the sixth-seeded Troy Trojans (8-16) at 2 p.m. CT. Georgia State is playing in its first men’s tennis Sun Belt Conference Championship since joining the conference prior to the spring season. The third-seeded Panthers are coming off a 5-2 win against Troy in their final match of the regular-season last Saturday.

“We are excited to compete in our first Sun Belt Conference Championship, we have been building towards this all season,” first-year head coach Joerg Barthel said. “We are familiar with Troy having just played them and look forward to the challenge of trying to advance in the tournament against them on Thursday.”

Senior Victor Valente leads the GSU men’s tennis team into the Sun Belt Conference Championship on a tear. He has won three straight singles matches and is 16-4 on the season in singles play. He came in at No. 89 in the latest ITA National Singles Rankings released on Tuesday. He has also been hot in doubles play with partner Lucas Santa Ana. The two own a 13-1 record together and are the No. 46-ranked pair in the latest ITA National Doubles rankings.

The Panthers defeated the Trojans last Saturday on Senior Day by a 5-2 margin thanks to sophomore Sofiane Chevallier’s match-clinching singles win. The sophomore from Paris, France, won 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 at the No. 6 position to lock up the victory for GSU. The Panthers won the doubles point against Troy before getting singles wins from junior Thomas Cook at the No. 2 spot (6-2, ret.) and Valente at the top spot (6-0, 6-1).

Live stats will be available for Thursday’s match courtesy of the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns athletic staff and Visit the men’s tennis page on for a full recap of Thursday’s match following its completion. Follow the GSU men’s tennis team on Twitter at “@GSUMTennis” for up-to-the-minute updates throughout the tournament.