April 2, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Mother Natured forced Florida State University and Clemson University to wait an extra day before playing their Atlantic Coast Conference men’s tennis match. In a Superman-like performance, the No. 26 Seminoles used the energy of the sun to dismantle 19th-ranked Clemson 7-0 on Saturday (April 2). It was the first time that either team had been swept by the other in league competition.
For Florida State the victory snapped a three-matching losing streak to the Tigers as the win improved the Tribe’s record to 13-6 overall and 4-2 in the league. Clemson dropped to 3-2 in the league and 21-6 on the year.
“I’d say that this was one of our best wins of the year, “FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “North Carolina may have been a better win because of the adversity we faced the day before, but this is a good against a top 20 team that beat USC two weeks ago and they’re ninth in the country. I also think that this showed that we’re a top 20 program.”
The nation’s best doubles line-up won the opening point for the 18th time in 19 tries to give Florida State the first point of the day. Cruising to an easy 8-1 win at number three was the tandem of Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) and Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.). The duo used three breaks on their way to the win over Ian Keeler and Brett Twente.
After both teams traded the first two games, Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) took seven of the last eight games to beat Sander Koning and Clement Reix 8-2 at number two. The last match was a battle between a pair of ranked teams that saw a big comeback by the Seminoles. One game away from being beaten, 39th-ranked Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) rallied from a 7-5 deficit to win the last four games and beat No. 28 Nathan Thompson and Ryan Young 9-7 at number one.
“We talked to the guys about that last doubles match and told them that if Clemson would have won it would have felt like we were even and erased the hard work we put in,” Hultquist noted. “They would have had a little momentum going into singles so that was a big win for us.”
Taking the momentum from his doubles match, No. 26 Cloer picked up the Seminoles’ first win during singles. The two-time ACC Player of the Year upset 18th-ranked Thompson 6-2, 6-3 at number one. The senior moved up a spot on both the school’s career singles and combined victories lists. Cloer now has 79 singles wins, equaling All-American Ken McKenzie for fifth all-time, while his pair of wins over the Tigers moves him into tie for sixth place with Joey Rive and Michael Ingham at 142 (79 singles, 63 doubles) combined triumphs.
After exchanging four breaks at number six, Webb scored his third break of the set to go up 5-3 then went on to win the match 6-3, 6-1 over Michael Gee to stay undefeated in ACC play. At number four, Sucupira found himself down early in the first set 3-1 to Young. The All-ACC selection battled to tie the stanza at five sets a piece then broke to win the first set 7-5. The sophomore slipped a bit with a comfortable 5-2 lead in the second, but held on to close out the team match with a 6-4 win in the second stanza.
“Mat really knows how to play against Thompson and today he just stayed with him put the pressure on him,” Hultquist added. “One of the goals that we have with our guys is to beat teams 7-0 so I’m proud of how Sam and Ytai finished out their matches. In order for us to be a great team, we stressed to our guys that we need to wins matches even after the team victory has been decided and we did that today.”
Moving up a spot in the line-up, Westerhof broke open both sets to post a 6-2, 6-3 win over Reix. The two were tied at 2-2 in the first set and 3-3 in the second before the lefty rattled off four and three games, respectively to win the bout. The win was Westerhof’s 20th of the season, making him just the 19th player in school history to reach 20 wins in a season.
After splitting the first two sets with Konig at number two, Abougzir had to go into a supertiebreaker in the third to get his victory. The sophomore went up 6-1 in the breaker before Koning rallied to pull even at six, but Abougzir bounced back to win four of the last five points for the 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (7) win. The only set that Clemson won came at number five as Twente took the opening stanza 6-3, but Chang regrouped to win the last two sets 6-2, 6-4 to complete the sweep.
Florida State goes on the road for its next conference match, taking on No. 41 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Friday, April 8 at 2 p.m.
#26 Florida State 7, #19 Clemson 0
No. 1: #26 Mat Cloer (FSU) d. #18 Nathan Thompson (CU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU) d. Sander Koning (CU) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (7)
No. 3: Chris Westerhof d. (FSU) Clement Reix (CU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 4: Jonathas Sucupira d. (FSU) Ryan Young (CU) 7-5, 6-4
No. 5: Sam Chang (FSU) d. Brett Twente (CU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 6: Chip Webb (FSU) Michael Gee (CU) 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 4 3, 2, 5
No. 1: #39 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) d. #28 Thompson/Young (CU) 9-7
No. 2: Sucupira/Chang (FSU) d. Koning/Reix (CU) 8-2
No. 3: Westerhof/Webb (FSU) d. Ian Keeler/Twente (CU) 8-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1