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The Panthers have a good mix of youth and experience heading into the season

The Georgia State men’s tennis team is looking to rebound from a season that ended a lot sooner than it wanted. The Panthers were the 2017 Sun Belt Conference champions, but they fell short in 2018.

Their goal to win the Sun Belt championship and make it to the NCAA Tournament remains the same, and their journey starts this September when they begin their fall slate.

“In the fall, there are a bunch of individual tournaments where you compete for your individual rankings and doubles rankings,” head coach Jonathan Wolff said. “At the end of the season you have your team events, the conference championships and NCAA team event, and after you have the singles portion and doubles portion. Every win during the fall counts towards that ranking. It’s a way for them to work on their game.”

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Georgia State will enter this season without their Top 2 players from last year in Sebastian Acuna and Andrei Andrukhou, but it has a good mix of returners and freshmen.

Players to watch out for this season are freshman Roberts Grinvalds, senior Giles Hussey and junior Quentin Coulaud.

Grinvalds is a Latvian native, and he has started his collegiate career off on a good note. The freshman was able to earn a few professional points during summer matches. The coaches expect him to play in the Top 3 this season. He has the size to compete with mostly anyone, and he won’t be overpowered on the court.

“He has the talent to succeed, on and off the court,” Wolff said. “So far the conversations I’ve had with him, he’s been doing everything right off the court as well, taking care of his body, going to classes.”

Hussey and Coulaud will be looked upon as leaders this season, with them being two of the better and more experienced players on this year’s roster.

“He’s a senior this year, he’s a crafty player, a lefty, not the biggest guy, but he plays good defense,” Wolff said of Hussey. “He has a tricky lefty serve, so I expect him to play at least Top 3 as well.”

During the fall session, each player is guaranteed to play in four matches, but the Panthers have nine on their schedule. The first is on Sept. 21 at the Gamecock Fall Invitational in South Carolina, and the fall concludes with the Pro Circuit Futures in November.

“We schedule a great schedule of at least four tournaments per pl ayer, we have players of all different levels,” Wolff said. “Some are playing a little tougher tournaments based on their of their level. Some are a little easier. Some like the fact that they have more opportunities to play matches, especially the younger guys—they want a tournament that gives them a certain amount of guaranteed matches. Whereas some of the higher level tournaments, you are guaranteed those matches, but I feel pretty confident that our top guys can play at that level.”

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