Peachtree City, Ga.--The Georgia State men's tennis team upset No. 64-ranked ETSU, 5-2, on Thursday at the Peachtree City Tennis Center.
Georgia State (4-1) took the doubles point and got a win at No. 4 singles from junior Lucas Santana to secure the match. Santana took his match by default, 6-4, 2-6, 5-3, after his opponent was disqualified in the third set. He teamed with senior Juan Pablo Gutierrez to take a key doubles victory at the No. 2 slot. It was just the second time the duo played at No. 2 doubles in their careers and their first victory in the spot.
The 8-4 win from the potent doubles pair gave GSU the first of two doubles victories on the way to the doubles point.
"I'm very proud of Lucas Santana for clinching it," third-year head coach Chase Hodges said, "He's been a key member of our team the last couple of years. He's starting to play much better. I'm also proud of Juan, he's 5-0 on the year."
Sophomore Thomas Cook and freshman Michael Vallejo clinched the doubles point with a 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles over ETSU's Jorge Varon and Juan Ramirez. Junior Victor Valente and freshman Matias Hatem fell in a hard-fought match to ETSU's Sander Gilles and Jesus Bandres 8-7 (8-6).
Hatem kicked off singles play with a straight-set, 6-3, 6-0, win at No. 4 singles. Valente, ranked No. 14 in the Southeast region in singles, took his singles match, 6-4, 6-4, in the No. 1 slot. It gave Georgia State a 3-2 lead with Nos. 5 and 6 singles left to play.
Gutierrez fell in the first set of his match 4-6, at No. 5 but forced the second set into a tiebreak. In the tiebreak with the score tied at two, Gutierrez ripped a backhand down the line after a long rally and never looked back. He took the tiebreaker and eventually took his match 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.
Prior to today's match, Georgia State was ranked No. 69 in the country and ETSU (0-3) was No. 58. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association released its latest rankings at 5 p.m. that had GSU (4-1) unranked and ETSU No. 64.
"This is our biggest win of the season up until this point," Hodges said, "ETSU is a team that is nationally ranked every year and goes to the NCAA Tournament. This is the type of victory that our guys really need to get our confidence to where it needs to be."
Georgia State next faces Kennesaw State and Samford on Saturday in a doubleheader. The Panthers face the Owls at 10 a.m. and Samford at 4 p.m. It will be Georgia State's first match this season at Piedmont Park. Fans can follow the action online on Saturday with live stats and a live blog.
Following the match, check www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for a recap, box score and postgame interview with coach Hodges.