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Men's Tennis Set To Open Season At No. 58 Georgia Tech

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Leandro Osorio and the Spartans kick off their season on Sunday at Georgia Tech.

Leandro Osorio and the Spartans kick off their season on Sunday at Georgia Tech.

Jan. 16, 2009

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's tennis team will start its second campaign of Division I dual match play with a tough Atlantic Sun Conference foe in preseason-ITA 58th-ranked Georgia Tech. The Spartans take the courts against the Yellow Jackets on Sunday at 9 a.m. as part of a Georgia Tech doubleheader. The Yellow Jackets will play Wofford at 2 p.m.

The two programs are meeting for the second straight year and share a common link in former Upstate head coach and former Georgia Tech assistant coach Josh Hausman. The Upstate alum led the Spartan tennis programs for one season in 2004, leading the men's program to a 20-5 overall record and the school's first trip to the NCAA Nationals since 1996. After the season, Hausmen left Upstate to become an assistant at Georgia Tech, where he served for four years with the men's program before leaving to become a private tennis coach.

2008 Upstate/Georgia Tech Recap
Feb. 3, 2008: Georgia Tech 7, Upstate 0

The USC Upstate men's tennis team suffered a 7-0 loss to 43rd-ranked Georgia Tech on Feb. 3 at the Bill Moore Tennis Complex. With the loss, Upstate fell to 1-2 and Georgia Tech improved to a perfect 3-0. Sophomore Jack Roux lost both his sets in tiebreakers to Ryan Smith in the final match of the day to be completed, 7-6, 7-6.

Going For 40
For the first time in its NCAA era (since 1990), the USC Upstate men's tennis team has three players who are currently playing with 40 or more singles wins. Considering only 14 players have reached the plateau, it is an even more impressive feat. Adding on to it, all three players are juniors, with Javier Tori and Arnaldo Lovera both joining the 40-win club early in the fall. Jack Roux, thanks to two wins during the qualifying rounds at the ITA Mideast Regionals, finished the fall with a career 40-23 record. The players currently in the club could also soon be joined by another fellow junior Renzo Airaldi, who currently has 33 wins and senior Leandro Osorio, who has 31 wins.

New High For Lovera
Junior Arnaldo Lovera, who wrapped up his fall season at the Elon Invitational, is out to the hottest start for the men's tennis team in the Division I era, as the 6-0 Venezuelan will finish his fall a perfect 9-0. The junior started out his season by winning the top-flighted Gold bracket at the ETSU Fall Challenge. He added three wins at both the Wofford Fall Challenge and the Elon Invitational. In his career, Lovera has proven solid in singles play, holding a career 42-13 (.764) record. Both Lovera and junior Renzo Airaldi enjoyed seven match win streaks in 2007-08, the previous best at the Division I level.

Os Oh Sweet
Senior Leandro Osorio, with a doubles win with sophomore partner Nico Ospina, at the Wofford Fall Challenge, passed his former doubles cohort, Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso, for third in the schools career doubles record book. Now with 56 career wins, Osorio is seven wins away from Jose Luis Reyes (2001-05) and second in the record book.

Tori Reaches Quarterfinals of Southern Intercollegiates
Junior Javier Tori's tremendous run at the prestigious Southern Intercollegiate Championships came to an end as Tori fell to Division II bracket championship bracket finalist Richard Cowden of Middle Tennessee State, 6-4, 6-3, in the quarterfinals. Tori was the first Upstate player in the Division I era to reach the quarterfinals at the Southern Intercollegiates.

Tori, playing in the Division II singles bracket, started the tournament with an impressive 6-2, 6-3 win over Central Florida's Brock Sakey. Tori, who won one match at the Southern Intercollegiates as a sophomore, opened Saturday with an impressive 6-1, 6-1 win over seven-seed Jacksonville's Jamie Esteban to earn a spot in the third round. In the third round, Tori ground out a three-set, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win against Duke's Luke Marchese.

Nico's Nice
Sophomore Nico Ospina certainly hasn't experienced any sort of sophomore slump. The Bogota, Colombia, native has posted a 9-2 singles record this fall, having won his flight at the ETSU Fall Challenge and also winning three matches at the Wofford Fall Challenge. Ospina posted a 4-1 record as a freshman, as he only played in two fall tournaments and in one dual meet.

Men's Tennis Selected Fourth In A-Sun Preseason Coaches' Poll
One year after a 15-6 overall record and an 8-2 Atlantic Sun Conference slate helped them finish in third-place in the league, the USC Upstate men's tennis team was selected to finish fourth in the Preseason A-Sun Coaches' Poll, the league office in Macon, Ga., announced on Jan. 7. ETSU, which has won the last three regular-season A-Sun titles and the last two tournament championships, was selected to finish first in the poll, earning seven first-place votes. Enrique Olivares, who won the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in the fall, was pegged as the conference's Preseason Player of the Year.

Up Next
The USC Upstate men's tennis team will take 12 days off before getting back on the court to continue its 26-match schedule. The Spartans will head to Troy for a 10 a.m. match on Friday, Jan. 30 and then take the short trip to Alabama State for a 2:30 p.m. match on the same day.

The USC Upstate women's tennis team will start play on Monday, Jan. 26 when it heads to Presbyterian for a 2:30 p.m. match.

 
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