Men’s tennis heads to Athens for showdown with No. 4 Georgia

Friday, February 03, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. (Feb. 3, 2012) – The No. 64 ETSU men’s tennis team battles the No. 4-ranked team in the country this weekend, as it heads 70 miles from Atlanta to Athens to take on Georgia inside the Lindsey Hopkins Indoor Courts.

ETSU (0-3) has dropped its first three matches to open the 2012 season, falling to then-No. 22 Tulsa, then-No. 57 NC State last weekend in Lexington before losing a 5-2 decision on Thursday to Georgia State. In each loss, the Bucs failed to secure the doubles point and are 2-6 overall in doubles play through the first three matches. ETSU has been struggling on the singles side as well, showing a 3-10 combined singles record.

“It’s only going to get tougher,” said ETSU Director of Tennis Yaser Zaatini, following the Bucs’ 5-2 loss to Georgia State on Thursday. “We’ll see when we decide to start playing as a whole, and maybe at that point we’ll have a shot.”

Slow starts are not something the ETSU men’s tennis team is not accustomed to in recent years, as the Bucs have gotten off to 1-4, 2-6 and 1-6 starts in the 2011, ’10 and ’09 seasons, respectively. At the end to each of those seasons, ETSU has proven to come together as a whole by winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship.

Georgia (3-0) has earned 7-0 sweeps in each of its first three matches, taking down then-No. 66 Clemson in its season opener on Jan. 21, before hosting a round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend and rolling past then-No. 51 TCU and then-No. 34 Virginia Tech. The wins over TCU and Va. Tech earned the Bulldogs a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships Round of 16, which begins Feb. 17 in Charlottesville, Va.

The Bulldogs also boast two ITA top-10 singles players, and five nationally ranked singles players overall. Leading the way is Will Spencer, who sits at No. 3 in the men’s singles poll, and Sadio Doumbia at No. 10.

Last year, the Bucs and Bulldogs met in Athens as Georgia came away with a 7-0 victory. The Bulldogs are also 6-0 against ETSU all-time.

Live stats will be provided courtesy of GeorigaDogs.com, and a live chat will also be available for fans wishing to interact with the action.

For more information on ETSU tennis, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the tennis links.

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