March 16, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. –
After a doubles point loss and a brief rain delay, Florida State men’s tennis fought back in singles to defeat the No. 17 Rice Owls 5-2 on Friday improving the team’s overall season record to 9-5. This is the Seminoles eleventh straight win at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center after charging back to win five out of six singles matches.
Doubles competition began strong for the Seminoles on court two as senior Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and junior Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) overcame the Owl’s Jason Mok and Christoph Muller 8-3. Momentum changed on court number three as Florida State’s freshmen duo Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) and Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) fell to Rice’s Ben Harknett and Filip Paroci 8-5 while doubles victory was clinched for the Owl’s on center court as Toby Scheil and Ralph Knupfer of Rice defeated senior Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) 8-3.
“I was disappointed actually and kind of got on the team a little bit after the doubles because I didn’t feel like we played, well we played really good doubles yesterday in practice and we had worked hard on some things and we were actually in pretty good position,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Jon and Sam have played together for a long time and they’ve actually been winning. This is the first time Brad and Jean-Yves have lost at three. They’ve lost a couple at two but I think we can get better and I think we can keep working on it.”
Momentum changed going in to singles competition as sophomore Chris Cloer (Brevard, NC) had a dominating win on court six over Rice’s Toby Scheil 6-2, 6-1 while Sykut followed shortly after with a victory in position three over Filip Paroci 6-0, 6-2. Next to finish was court five as Sucupira fought to win a tight ranked match over #97 Jason Mok 6-4, 7-5 while Florida State’s Sam Chang fell in position number four to Rice’s Christopher Muller 5-7, 4-6. Capturing the match victory for the Seminoles came from #58 Aubone in spot two where he defeated the Owls’ #116 Ralph Knupfer 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. Ended the match was Abougzir on center court winning his third ranked win in a row over Rice’s Ben Harknett 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
“This is kind of what I’d expect of them. We’ve lost a couple matches 4-3 then we lost doubles but I kind of expect to win at least four. I think we have to keep plugging away and I think as the year goes on we’ll play better,” coach Hultquist said. “I think we should be better than we are in doubles right now but I think one thing that was really positive today was we won five singles after the doubles and we hadn’t done that yet.”
Florida State men’s tennis (9-5, 1-2 ACC) remain in Tallahassee next week as they take on two ACC challengers at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. First Wednesday, March 21 at 5:00 p.m. against Maryland (9-2, 1-1 ACC) and later on Friday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. the Seminoles take on Boston College (3-6, 0-1 ACC).
Florida State 5, Rice 2
1. Scheil/Knupfer (RU) def. Abougzir/Sykut (FSU) 8-3
2. Chang/Sucupira (FSU) def. Mok/Muller (RU) 8-3
3. Harknett/Paroci (RU) def. Aubone/Mixson (FSU) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1*
*- Clinched win
1. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) vs. #25 Ben Harknett (RU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
2. Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) vs. #116 Ralph Knupfer (RU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
3. Maciek Sykut (FSU) def. Filip Paroci (RU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Christoph Muller (RU) def. Sam Chang (FSU) 5-7, 4-6
5. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) vs. #97 Jason Mok (RU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Chris Cloer (FSU) vs.Toby Scheil (RU) 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 5, 4, 2*, 1
*- Clinched win