April 24, 2005
CARY, N.C. –
An Atlantic Coast Conference Championships was so close that the Florida State University men’s tennis team could taste it. But then the second-ranked Virginia Cavaliers snatched it from their jaws as Virginia won its second-straight ACC title, beating the No. 25 Seminoles 4-1 on Sunday (April 24) at the Cary Tennis Center.
The loss was just Florida State’s second in the last 11 matches and snapped a six-match winning streak. FSU dropped to 18-7 on the year, while UVA improved to 24-2.
“They outplayed us today and they were a little bit better than we were,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We started kind of slow today and you can’t do that against a team like Virginia. Doubles was the key as it always is and we had a chance at all three doubles, but they were just a little bit better.”
Virginia got the upper hand early as it gained the distinction of becoming just the second team this year to beat the nation’s best doubles line-up. Darrin Cohen and Doug Stewart picked up the first win when they beat Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) 8-4 at number three. Wrapping up the point was No. 47 Somdev Devvarman and Treat Huey at number two as they beat No. 38 Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) 9-7.
The Cavaliers showed the merit of their number two national ranking as they quickly had a 3-0 advantage on the Seminoles. No. 44 Rylan Rizza came through with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Sucupira at number three then No. 68 Cohen beat Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 6-1, 6-4 in their number six bout.
With Florida State’s back against the wall, senior Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) stepped up and held off the Cavaliers temporarily. The two-time ACC Player of the Year came through with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over No. 15 Stewart at number one. The win was Cloer’s third over a top-25 player this year, the seventh of his career and the second over Stewart.
“Mat really took it upon himself to come through with a victory today,” Hultquist noted. “That’s what you like to see out of your senior captain. He matches up well with Stewart and he took control of the match. Somdev is one of the best players I’ve seen in college tennis this year and he might be the best player in the ACC. I felt that Jeff and Chris were right in it at four and five and they had a chance to win those matches.”
Unfortunately, Virginia put the match away when ACC Freshman of the Year #26 Devvarman beat Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) 6-1, 6-3 at number two.
“This match showed our guys that they have to step it up and they’ve realized that we’ve got to be better tan we are right now in order to make a run in the NCAA Tournament,” Hultquist added. “We haven’t faced a top five teams since early in the year when we played Illinois and Florida so this gives us a little indications as to how much better we have to get to play on that level.”
Florida State now turns its attention to the NCAA Tournament, which begins May 13 on 16 campus sites. The top 16 teams in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Poll will play host to the first two rounds.
1. #29 Mat Cloer (FSU) def. #15 Doug Stewart (UVA) 6-1, 6-3
2. #26 Somdev Devvarman (UVA) def. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) 6-0, 6-1
3. #44 Rylan Rizza (UVA) def. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Treat Huey (UVA) vs. Chris Westerhof (FSU) DNF
5. #109 Marko Miklo (UVA) vs. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) DNF
6. #68 Darrin Cohen UVA) def. Chip Webb (FSU) 6-1, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1, 2
1. #17 Rizza/Meythaler (UVA) vs. #31 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) DNF
2. #47 Devvarman/Huey (UVA) def. #38 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) 9-7
3. Cohen/Stewart (UVA) def. Sucupira/ Sam Chang (FSU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2