What you need to know:
* Georgia State rolled past FGCU 4-1 Thursday morning in Fort Myers, Fla.
* Andrei Duarte recorded his fourth clinch of the year
* GSU opens conference play 3 p.m. Friday with a match at UT Arlington
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After rain pushed the conclusion of Wednesday’s match against Florida Gulf Coast to Thursday, Georgia State men’s tennis followed up another stellar doubles performance with strong singles play to collect a 4-1 victory over the Eagles at the FGCU Tennis Complex Thursday morning.
With the win, GSU improved to 8-8 overall and have won two of its last three. The Panthers also moved to 3-2 against teams from the Sunshine State this season.
Georgia State continued to stay dominant in doubles play, as the Panthers earned victories on courts one and three to secure the doubles point in their third consecutive match, including seven of their last eight.
Giles Hussey and Jack MacFarlane rolled to a 6-2 win on court one, winning their second match in a row and improving to 4-1 at the No. 1 position. At the No. 3 spot, Andrei Duarte and Kevin Huynh partnered up for the first time this season and collected a 6-3 victory.
Light showers and wet conditions suspended play following the doubles results, but GSU picked up right where it left off on Thursday morning with sharp play and lots of scoring.
FGCU tied it at 1-1 with a victory on court six, but Georgia State responded with three straight wins to clinch the match. Bailey Showers improved to 2-0 at the No. 3 position with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over his opponent while Vazha Shubladze earned his first win at the No. 2 spot in straight sets.
Duarte capped things off with a 6-3, 6-4 win on court five to clinch the victory for the Panthers. It was his fourth clinch of the season, leading the team in that category. Duarte will carry a three-match win streak into the weekend.
Georgia State is back in action 3 p.m. Friday for its conference opener against UT Arlington at the UTA Tennis Center.
GSU 4, FGCU 1
1. Giles Hussey (GSU) v. Juan Montes (FGCU) 7-5, 5-2, unfinished
2. Vazha Shubladze (GSU) def. Felipe Ramirez (FGCU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Bailey Showers (GSU) def. Felipe Escobar (FGCU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Quentin Coulaud (GSU) v. Marcelo Tebet (FGCU) 6-3, 4-5, unfinished
5. Andrei Duarte (GSU) def. Feliksas Sakalauskas (FGCU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Javier Fernandez (FGCU) def. Kevin Huynh (GSU) 6-1, 6-2
1. Giles Hussey/Jack MacFarlane (GSU) def. Felipe Escobar/Mateo Ruiz (FGCU) 6-2
2. Quentin Coulaud/Bailey Showers (GSU) v. Marcelo Tebet/Juan Montes (FGCU) 4-4, unfinished
3. Andrei Duarte/Kevin Huynh (GSU) def. Feliksas Sakalauskas/Felipe Ramirez (FGCU) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,3,2,5)
Friday, March 22 vs. UT Arlington
The Panthers begin Sun Belt play with a road contest against UT Arlington 3 p.m. Friday at the UTA Tennis Center. GSU, winner of two of its last three matches, will take on a Mavericks team (9-5) that has also won two of its last three, including a 4-0 sweep over Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Tuesday.
Georgia State head coach Jonathan Wolff is 1-0 is conference openers, as he led the blue and white to a 4-1 victory over South Alabama in the first league match of 2018. Friday will be just the second meeting between the two teams, as UT Arlington won the first matchup 4-1 in the 2016 Sun Belt Tournament semifinals.
Sunday, March 24 vs. Louisiana
After Friday’s match against UT Arlington, GSU will travel down to Lafayette, La., to face Louisiana 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Cajun Courts. The Ragin Cajuns (18-5) currently lead the league in overall wins and enter the weekend on a two-match win streak.
The Panthers won the most recent outing against Louisiana 4-3 in 2018 and own a 5-1 record against the Ragin Cajuns in the all-time series. With wins against UT Arlington and Louisiana, GSU can begin the conference slate 2-0 for the first time since 2016.
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