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GSU's new tennis complex unveiled

    Georgia Southern's men’s tennis team will begin its 2012 season today with a non-conference match against Mercer University.
    A ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the newly renovated Hanner Tennis Complex will take place at noon and will precede the match against the Bears at 2 p.m.
    The major renovation of the main courts near Hanner Fieldhouse began last summer with a reconstruction of the facility. The project included the addition of spectator seating near the courts, resurfacing of the playing area, installation of time-controlled gates and lights, and new windscreens. 
    The Hanner Tennis Complex includes six main courts and four back courts for use by GSU's tennis teams for competition and practice. Additionally, the courts are used for recreation by GSU students, faculty and staff.
    GSU's women's tennis team will depart for its first match of 2012 against Charleston Southern immediately after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
    Rainy weather might postpone ceremony until a later date. If the ceremony is rescheduled, a new date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
    GSU's home stand will conclude Saturday with a 1 p.m. match against the North Florida Ospreys.
    The Eagles are coming off a disappointing end to their 2011 season, narrowly falling to Chattanooga, 4-3, in the first round of the Southern Conference Championships.
    GSU must replace reigning SoCon Player of the Year Juan Melian Puigventos. The team is anchored by returners Alain Garrido (Vigo, Spain) and Matthijs Verdam (Hilversum, Netherlands).
    Optimism also surrounds six newcomers, including five freshmen and sophomore transfer Oliver Webb (London, England). Two of the freshmen, Kyle Hoffman (Sarasota, Fla.) and Andrew Dromsky (Martinez, Ga.), won their respective singles flights in The Citadel Fall Invitational during the fall season.
    Mercer will begin its season today, and will look to avenge a 4-3 defeat to the Eagles in last year’s contest. A thrilling three-set comeback win by Marco Osorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) sealed the victory for the Eagles.
    They also received singles victories from Garrido and Verdam. The Bears are led by upperclassmen Pierre Tafelski, Peter Tauchner, and David Barton.
    The Ospreys from Jacksonville, Fla., are 1-1 on the season, defeating Radford and falling to Florida State.
    North Florida is led by returners Moritz Buerchner and Daniel Sotomarino, who helped give North Florida a 7-0 victory in last year’s match with GSU.
    The reigning Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season champions are ranked 71st nationally.