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Clemson tennis looking to make noise in the ACC

Chino Rocha, Unsplash
Clemson tennis look to bounce back this season after both the men’s and women’s teams were defeated by Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament last season.

It is finally winter and feelings of optimism begin to surround the Clemson tennis programs. Both the men’s and women’s teams fell short of reaching the postseason tournament last year, and now both teams are looking for a turn of fortune.  

The men’s tennis team finished its previous season ranked 55th in the nation, suffering a defeat to Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Tigers will return four of their top six singles courts this season, setting them up for a hopeful season. 

Senior Teodor Giusca comes in as Clemson’s only Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) ranked player. The ITA ranked Giusca is the 109th-best men’s singles player coming into this season, his second straight season earning this preseason recognition. 

Giusca won 10 of 13 singles matches across the fall season, including three wins against ranked opponents.   

Head coach Robbie Weis is entering his third season at Clemson as he hopes to bring home the Tigers’ first ACC championship since 1997. The two recruiting classes that Weis has brought in during his tenure rank among the highest in Clemson’s tennis history, according to tennisrecruiting.    

Clemson’s women’s team ended its 2021 season on a similar note, ranked 73rd nationally. They also suffered a first-round defeat to Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament. 

Head coach Christy Lynch is entering her second season at Clemson since being hired off of Rodney Harmon’s staff at Georgia Tech. Lynch led Clemson to an 8-15 record in her first year, posting a 3-10 record in conference play.   

Sophomore Cristina Mayorova and junior Ali DeSpain are ITA-ranked at 70th and 84th, respectively, to start the season. En route to achieving her ranking, Mayorova had a signature win over North Carolina star Carson Tanguilig, who was ranked 13th in the nation at the time.   

Mayorova, DeSpain and the Tigers will be back in action when they open up their season at home against College of Charleston and Presbyterian College on Sunday, Jan. 16. The men’s team starts its season at home on Jan. 15, facing off against in-state rival Furman. 

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