ATLANTA – The Georgia State men’s tennis team announced its challenging fall schedule Tuesday.
The Panthers finished the season No. 61 in the nation after a season that included a Sun Belt Championship and a first round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Georgia State will open their fall schedule with their home tournament, the Georgia State Fall Invitational, from Sept. 20-22.
For the second year in a row, the Panthers have been invited to the prestigious ITA Regional Championships from Oct. 11-14 in Atlanta, Ga. Georgia Tech will host the southeast region.
At the end of October, 25-27, Georgia State will travel to Elon, N.C., to compete in the Elon Invitational. The Panthers will then finish their fall slate in Charleston, S.C., at the Charleston Challenge.
Head coach Joerg Barthel will return for his second season, after a stellar first year in Atlanta. His team captured a Sun Belt championship and Barthel was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year. The team then competed in the first round of the NCAA Team Championship. Barthel had two players advance to the NCAA Doubles Championship. Lucas Santa Ana and Victor Valente teamed together to earn Georgia State’s first win of any kind in an NCAA championship setting against the No.-9 ranked doubles team from Kentucky. Valente also advanced to the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Under Barthel's leadership in the first year, the team beat four nationally-ranked opponents, including an upset of No. 49-ranked Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt Championship finals. The team came back from a 3-0 deficit to win the match, and the title, 4-3. Robert Schulze earned the Sun Belt Conference Championship Most Outstanding Player award for his efforts. Santa Ana and Valente were both named to the Sun Belt Championship All-Tournament team. Those three also earned All-Sun Belt honors prior to the matches, with Valente taking home First Team Singles and Doubles laurels, Santa Ana earning First Team Doubles and Schulze taking home Second Team Singles.
The Panthers will return five players from last year’s team.