The Georgia State men’s tennis team, coming off a Sun Belt Championship and a return to the NCAA Championships, has added four talented freshmen to the team.
Georgia State will add four freshmen from three countries to the Panther team that went 15-11 last season, including a Sun Belt Conference Championship that gave them an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
“We as coaches are delighted about our first full recruiting class at Georgia State,” head coach Joerg Barthel said. “The incoming freshmen will bring a lot of talent and experience to the program and will be an important part of the future success we want to have here. On and off the court, these young student-athletes have already excelled and we are very excited for them to commit to our University and team.”
Eric Baum comes to Georgia State from Heiligenhaus, Germany. He attended Helmholtz Gymnasium Essen in Essen, Germany. He was part of the team that won the National Team Championships in 2010 and 2009. In both of those championships, Baum went undefeated at the No. 1 singles position.
Christian Gochnauer is a right-hander from Lawrenceville, Ga. He played singles and doubles at Brookwood High School. Gochnauer was a three-year letterwinner in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He had an overall record of 33-5 amid a series of injuries. His team won the state championship in 2011 and 2013, the latter in which he was a team captain. Gochnauer was also a multi-year scholar athlete.
Valentin Horvat hails from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He won a men’s open event in Las Vegas in 2012, as well as a tennis Europe event in doubles in 14s in Otocec, Slovenia. Horvat was the runner-up in the national championship in Slovenia in doubles in 16s. He is a three-time national team champion in 12s and 14s.
Jannis Koeke comes to Georgia State from Villmar, Germany. Koeke attended the Tilemannschule Limburg in Limburg, Germany. He took third place in German Championship with team and defeated the No. 300 ATP player in a juniors match.
“Overall, I feel like we will be very deep going into the next season and years to come,” Barthel added. “Our goal will always be to compete for the Sun Belt Championship and even though we will have a fairly young starting line-up we want to try and defend our Championship right away.”
The Panthers lost two seniors, Victor Valente and Lucas Santa Ana, to graduation after the 2013 season. Valente and Santa Ana advanced to the second round of the NCAA Doubles Championship and Valente lost in the first round the NCAA Singles Championship.
The team will return eight players for the 2013-14 season.