Urbana, Ill.—Georgia State men’s tennis senior Victor Valente begins play at the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday in the first round against Tulsa’s Japie de Klerk. Valente and senior Lucas Santa Ana drew the top duo from the University of Kentucky in junior Tom Jomby and freshman Kevin Lai and will begin their run in the NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday.
The NCAA announced both draws on Tuesday with all matches taking place at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex and the Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. Valente and de Klerk will play at 8 a.m. CT on Wednesday morning.
Valente, ranked No. 63 in the ITA National Singles Rankings, will take on the No. 41-ranked de Klerk for the first time in his career. Santa Ana and Valente, ranked No. 60 in the ITA National Doubles rankings, take on the No. 9-ranked Jomby and Lai on Thursday afternoon.
Live video and live scoring will be provided courtesy of NCAA.com and fightingillini.com for fans looking to follow both matches.
Valente is the second student-athlete in Georgia State men’s tennis history to earn a berth in the NCAA Singles Championship with the last being Martin Stiegwardt in 2007. Valente brings a 19-5 singles record into Wednesday’s match with a 7-3 mark against nationally-ranked singles opponents. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, will be looking for his 80th career singles win (79-23 career record) on Thursday.
Japie de Klerk (pronounced YAH-pee) is a junior who played at the No.1 and No. 2 singles positions for the No.25-ranked Tulsa Golden Hurricane this season. He owns a 21-11 overall singles record with a 10-6 mark against nationally-ranked opponents. The native of Ashton, South Africa, has been ranked in the ITA National Singles rankings all season and was as high as No. 34 on Jan. 3.
Santa Ana and Valente, ranked No. 60 in the ITA National Doubles rankings, own a 14-2 record in dual-match play this season. The duo owns an 8-6 victory against the current No. 10-ranked doubles team in the nation of Georgia Tech’s Juan Spir and Vikram Hundal. Santa Ana and Valente only lost twice this season, both to Top 60-ranked doubles tandems.
Kentucky’s Jomby and Lai enter the tournament with a 16-9 overall record and a nine-match winning streak dating back to Mar. 29. The duo has nine wins vs. nationally-ranked doubles teams this season. The two have been ranked inside the Top 35 the entire season, reaching as high as eighth on Apr. 9.
Visit the men’s tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com for a full recap of Valente’s singles match on Wednesday and the GSU doubles match on Thursday. For more information, fans can view the Georgia State NCAA Singles & Doubles Championship Guide by clicking here.