ATLANTA--The Georgia State men's tennis team swept singles play to earn a 6-1 victory over Lipscomb in the Panthers' 2012 season opener at the Woodruff PE Center on Friday afternoon.
No. 65-ranked Georgia State (1-0) dropped the doubles point to the Bison, but the Panthers rallied for six straight victories for the win.
"Our singles play was outstanding after dropping the doubles point," third-year head coach Chase Hodges said, "We're definitely a work in progress. I am happy with the win, but I realize we have to play much better to beat Old Dominion tomorrow."
Freshman Matias Hatem earned the first singles win on the day, and the first of his career, in dominating fashion. Hatem dispatched junior Tanner Brown in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3 singles. Next to notch a victory for Georgia State was freshman Ismael Lahlou, who took a 6-4, 6-4 match from Lipscomb (0-1) junior Colby Shaw.
Junior Victor Valente took control of a tight match in the third set, knocking off Lipscomb junior Oliver Strecker 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the No. 1 singles match. Valente avenged a 2-6, 7-6, 3-7 he suffered last season to Strecker in Nashville, Tenn. Sophomore Thomas Cook clinched the match for GSU by rallying to take a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 match at No. 2 singles over sophomore David Salazar.
Senior Juan Pablo Gutierrez claimed a 6-1, 6-4 win over freshman Stuart Tierney at No. 5 singles. Gutierrez improved his career singles record to 34-17.
Freshman Michael Vallejo also notched his first collegiate victory of his career, earning a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-3) win at No. 6 singles over Daniel Hernandez.
The Panthers take on Old Dominion tomorrow at The Standard Club in Johns Creek, Ga. (1 p.m.). It is one of two Colonial Athletic Association matches on GSU's schedule. GSU took last year's match 5-2 in Norfolk, Va.
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