ATLANTA--The Georgia State men's tennis team will travel to its first ITA Kick-Off Weekend event in school history after the annual draft commenced on Tuesday afternoon.

The No. 60-ranked Panthers, who finished 20-5 last season, elected to travel to the University of Virginia's regional in Charlottesville, Va.. They are the No. 3 seed and will take on Arkansas of the SEC in the first round on Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The Razorbacks finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 58 after earning a 14-13 record last season.

GSU finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 60 in the ITA Men's National Team rankings to automatically qualify for selection into the nationally-recognized event. The 60-team field, which includes 15 host schools, was selected based on the final ITA rankings of 2011-12 campaign. Teams ranked behind the 15 host schools took turns selecting their regionals based on the final ITA rankings.

"It is always special to qualify for a national event such as this one, our program has come such a long way in a short period of time," third-year head coach Chase Hodges said. "A 2013 selection to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend is a phenomenal achievement for the men's tennis program. We look forward to heading to the University of Virginia to face a tough Arkansas team."

The fourth team, No. 66-ranked North Florida, earned a spot after teams inside the top-60 elected not to participate in the event. The No. 2-ranked Virginia and North Florida will battle in the other first round match with the winners and losers of each match playing matches in the final round on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

The ITA Kick-Off Weekend serves as the qualifier for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships which will be held next year from Feb. 15-18. The Indoor Championships will take place at the University of Washington.

"We hope to make this a regular event for our program as this tournament features the highest-ranked teams in the country," Hodges said.

Since Hodges began his tenure, GSU has had its best three-year record in school history at 56-17. Visit the men's tennis page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com to keep up with all of the latest news in the offseason.

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