January 18, 2007 - by
Florida State Men’s Tennis Kick Off 2007 Season With A Double Header

Jan. 18, 2007

Tallahassee, Fla. –
Friday, January 19th will mark the first dual match Florida State men’s tennis has seen this spring season. First playing Florida A&M Rattlers at 12:00 p.m. ET and later the North Florida Ospreys at 4:00 p.m. ET. The double header will take place on Florida State’s home courts at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.

Earlier in January, seven Seminoles traveled to the J. Webb Horton Classic hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers, Fla. Tournament players included senior Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil), sophomores Andrew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.), Ryan Boyajian (Weston, Fla.), Chris Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and freshmen Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.), Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) and Michael O’Shea (Boca Raton, Fla.). Freshmen Aubone and Mixson had standout performances concluding the tournament with a 3-1 singles record.

“We had some great competition at the tournament and I’m especially pleased with how our freshmen did,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I think we’ve shown we have a lot of guys that can play and I’m looking forward to the double header and playing a lot of great matches.”

The Florida State men’s tennis team comes into the 2006-07 season with a bright future on the horizon. The Seminoles have become a regular at NCAA Tournament as they enter the season riding a streak of four consecutive appearances. Not only do the Seminoles plan on making their firth trip this season but they will look to make a deep impact in to the tournament. The Seminoles advanced into second round last year and two years ago they made it to the elite eight for the first time in program history. Not only have the Seminoles made an impact in the post season, but they have been dominant during the regular season as well, recording back-to-back 18 plus win seasons.

Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist’s Outlook
“We want to get back to the final site. I think if you’re a football team you want to be in a BCS game or if you’re a basketball team you want to try and get to the second weekend or to the final four. We want to get back to the final site like we were two years ago. Last year we were very close and I feel like we are good enough to be in that group again. We also wan to compete for a conference championship and I think we’re probably in that range where we’re one of the teams that has the ability to win it. I don’t think we’re a favorite but if you look at Miami, Virginia, Duke, Georgia Tech, I think we’re in that group that could win.”

All of this success will only be built on during this upcoming season as Florida State returns eight letter winners from a year ago and has added four of the top recruits in the country. The eight letter winners include Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.), Andrew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.), Ryan Boyajian (Weston, Fla.), Sam Chang, Chris Cloer (Brevard, N.C.), Jason Hood (Columbia, S.C.), Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.). Four newcomers, all with hometowns residing in the state of Florida included Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.), Bobby Deye (Naples, Fla.), Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) and Michael O’Shea (Boca Raton, Fla.).

Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist’s Outlook
“I think Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) is obviously a big loss. He won the most doubles matches in his career at Florida State and certainly not having a guy that you know is going to be a dominant player that played No. 1 doubles is probably going to impact and hurt us. Chris won a lot of big matches in singles as well but I think this year’s team is deep so I look at our new guys coming in to contribute. I look at Jean-Yves as a guy who is going to contribute to singles and doubles right away and I think Brad Mixson will as well. I look at those guys as being big contributors this year and making up for the loss of Chris and then my hope is that all of our guys have improved from last year and they’ll be a little bit stronger with a higher winning percentage and really emerge.”

This year on the singles line-up, be on the look out for standout sophomore, Maciek Sykut, who currently holds the No. 76 national rank in the ITA/FILA preseason singles poll.

Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist’s Outlook
“I think this year’s team is very deep no matter from 1 through 6. Whoever we have on the court, I feel like we are going to be very strong competing with whoever we play, but I see it as a team as our best spots may be lower in the line up, three, four, five, six and I see all of our guys really being able to compete and be really close in ability. I think against some of the top teams we will be very competitive in our line up all the way through.”

Despite the loss of Chris Westerhof, Florida State’s men’s tennis all-time leader in doubles victories, the Seminoles enter the season with two teams ranked in the ITA/FILA preseason top 60. Abougzir and Sykut make up No. 37 rank in the nation.

Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist’s Outlook
“I’m not sure how that’s going to play out. I think we’ve still got some work to put that together. I see Jonathas and Sam playing together. They have played together for a couple years and have a very good chemistry; they like playing together and they’ve been nationally ranked. After that I’m not sure, we’re a little bit uncertain about how we’re going to do it. Ytai has really proved himself as a doubles player last year being ranked as part of a top team. I don’t know if we’ll play him with Maciek or maybe play him with Jean-Yves even though it would be a little unusual to play a senior with a freshman, but I look for one of those combinations to work. For our other doubles spot, I could see both our freshmen Jean-Yves and Brad Mixson playing together and also Drew certainly fitting in to that mix and having very good results and hope for a national rank.”

Florida State will open their season at home with a double header on January 19th against Florida A&M and North Florida. The Seminoles will then wrap up January with matches against Georgia State, Florida Atlantic and Furman all at home. February 2nd will mark the first road trip of the season for FSU as they will take on Notre Dame then two days later battle Ohio State. On February 17th, Florida State will take on the Florida Gators after last years cancelled match due to inclement weather in Gainesville. Florida State will begin battle in the Atlantic Coast Conference starting with Miami at home and then Clemson and Georgia Tech on the road later followed by a spring break trip to California to take on Stanford and Pepperdine. On March 16th, FSU will take on their last out of conference opponent in Rice at home and then from March 23rd to April 15th, the Seminoles will wrap up their regular season with an eight match conference schedule that will feature four home and four away matches. The ACC Tournament is scheduled for April 18-22 in Cary, N.C. The 2007 Tournament will be played in May with the finale site held in Athens, Ga.

In December 2006, head coach Dwayne Hultquist earned the 2006 USTA/ITA Florida Section Community Service Award. Florida State tennis, under the direction of coach Hultquist, has developed in to a strong community-based program by running instructional clinics for local juniors and FSU students.

“I think the players enjoy doing the community service and I think they especially enjoy when these people come out to our matches with there families”

Coach Hultquist also reached a milestone at the end of his spring 2006 campaign marking his 100th career win at Florida State. The victory came in the NCAA Championship first round when the Seminoles defeated Auburn 4-2.

In May 2006, Florida State assistant coach Nick Crowell was named the ITA Mideast Regional Men’s Tennis Assistant Coach of the Year and became a finalist for the national award.

“Nick brings a lot of dedication, energy and enthusiasm to our program,” Hultquist said. “He has spent a lot of time individually with each of our players and does a great job of recruiting the top players in the country.”

Thanks to incoming freshmen Jean-Yves Aubone, Bobby Deye and Bradley Mixson, Florida State boasted the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation at the start of the Fall 2006 Campaign.

Coaching Staff
Head Coach- Dwayne Hultquist (Penn State 86′), 8th Season
Assistant Coach- Nick Crowell (Texas 00′), 4th Season
Team Athletic Trainer- Cori Thompson

Ytai Abougzir- EE-Te A-BOOg-ZIR
Jean-Yves Aubone Jon-EEs OW-bone-ay
Chris Cloer- Klu-er
Jonathas Sucupira- Soo-Ka-peer-a
Maciek Sykut- Mah-Check SUH-kut

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