ATLANTA, Georgia - No. 65 Georgia State celebrated "Senior Day" by upsetting 37th-ranked UNCW, 5-2, in Colonial Athletic Association men's tennis action early Sunday at the Sharon Lester Tennis Center in Piedmont Park.
The Panthers, coached by former Seahawk Chase Hodges, raised their record to 19-4 this spring with the win. The Seahawks split a pair of matches over the weekend in Atlanta and carry a 14-5 mark into their regular season finale Thursday at home against East Carolina at 3 p.m.
In Sunday's CAA clash, the Panthers narrowly won the doubles point by taking the No. 3 doubles match and captured four singles matches to halt UNCW's five-match winning streak.
Juniors Kosta Blank and Chris Cooprider of UNCW claimed their eighth consecutive match by dominating Matias Hatem and Thomas Cook, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles to give the Seahawks an early edge.
The Panthers rallied, however, with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to grab a 1-0 lead in the match. Juan Pablo Gutierrez and Victor Valente edged UNCW's Michael Reilly and Sam Williams 8-6, at the No. 2 position and Lucas Santana and Jose Ortiz trimmed Rafael Aita and Pedro Mol by the same score at No. 3 doubles to clinch the point.
GSU won the first two singles matches off the court at the No. 5 and No. 6 positions to push the margin to 3-0 before the Seahawks came alive. Blank defeated Sofiane Chevallier in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, at No. 4 singles and Aita, ranked 88th nationally, topped Hatem, 6-3, 7-6 (3), at No. 1 singles to slice the deficit to 3-2.
But the Panthers won two close matches at No. 2 and No. 3 singles - both in third-set tiebreakers - to take the match. Valente, the reigning CAA Player-of-the-Week, delivered the match winner for GSU when the outlasted Cooprider, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (3), at No. 2 singles for his 50th career victory. Mol then dropped a third-set tiebreaker to Cook at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (3), to conclude the scoring.
The Seahawks entertain the Pirates on Thursday before beginning preparations for the CAA Men's Tennis Championships April 19-22 in Norfolk, Va.