What you need to know:
* GSU knocked off rival Georgia Southern 4-1 to claim the first-ever Sun Belt Regular Season Title
* The Panthers clinched the doubles point for the 16th time this season
* Georgia State is back in action 5 p.m. Sunday for Senior Day against Middle Tennessee at the Peachtree City Tennis Center
STATESBORO, Ga. – Georgia State men’s tennis claimed the first ever Sun Belt Regular Season Championship after defeating rival Georgia Southern 4-1 Saturday afternoon at the Wallis Tennis Center, giving the Panthers the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament for the second straight year.
GSU improved to 14-9 overall and finished conference play with a 6-1 mark. Second-year head coach Jonathan Wolff has led the Panthers to the top seed in the league tournament in his first two seasons and will look to lead Georgia State to the program’s third NCAA Tournament appearance since joining the Sun Belt in 2013.
“What a total team effort today against a tough rival in Georgia Southern,” Wolff said. “We preached how much we needed to stay focused from the first point in doubles, then after we clinched the doubles point, that momentum kept going into singles as we played some clutch tennis from some of the upperclassmen in Bailey, Quentin, Giles and Jack.”
The Panthers clinched the doubles point for the 16th time this year on Saturday, picking up victories from courts one and three to start the day. Quentin Coulaud and Bailey Showers upgraded their record as partners to 6-1 this dual season after a 6-2 win on court three, while Giles Hussey and Jack MacFarlane took care of business at the No. 1 position 6-2 for their 12th win of the year.
Georgia Southern battled back and tied the match at one after winning at the No. 1 singles position in straight sets, but it was all Georgia State from then on. The Panthers took the next three matches in singles to earn the league’s regular season title, highlighted by Hussey’s 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) win for his third clinch of the season.
Also collecting wins for the blue and white were Coulaud and Showers. Coulaud won his fifth straight singles match after knocking off Murphy McCullough at the No. 3 spot 6-3, 7-5 while Showers won 6-4, 6-2 for his fourth victory at court four this year.
“We had a lot more to lose than Southern going into the match with the regular season championship on the line, but we played to win the whole way through and did not play tentative tennis,” Wolff said. “I’m very proud of this team for fighting all throughout this season thus far and dealing with a lot of adversity.”
GSU enters its regular season finale against Middle Tennessee having won seven of its last eight contests and will host the Blue Raiders for Senior Day 5 p.m. Sunday at the Peachtree City Tennis Center.
“We have a quick turnaround as Senior Day will be tomorrow against a tough MTSU team,” Wolff said. “We’re honoring a very special senior in Jack MacFarlane and would love to see everyone out there to support.”
GSU 4, GS 1
1. Antonio Muniz (GS) def. Roberts Grinvalds (GSU) 6-2, 6-2
2. Giles Hussey (GSU) def. Stefano Di Aloy (GS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Quentin Coulaud (GSU) def. Murphy McCullough (GS) 6-3, 7-5
4. Bailey Showers (GSU) def. Diego Finkelstein (GS) 6-4, 6-2
5. Kevin Huynh (GSU) v. Pascal Wagemaker (GS) 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), unfinished
6. Steven Huynh (GSU) v. Santiago Suarez (GS) 6-3, 5-6, unfinished
1. Giles Hussey/Jack MacFarlane (GSU) def. Antonio Muniz/Murphy McCullough (GS) 6-2
2. Andrei Duarte/Roberts Grinvalds (GSU) vs. Stefano Di Aloy/JC Alcala (GS) 5-4, unfinished
3. Quentin Coulaud/Bailey Showers (GSU) def. Pascal Wagemaker/Carolos Garcia (GS) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,4,2)
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