March 12, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s tennis team picked up its first Atlantic Coast Conference victory of the season in style, upsetting No. 18-ranked Georgia Tech, 7-0, Sunday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
The Seminoles won their third match of the week and improved to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in league play. The Yellow Jackets dropped to 6-3 on the season and 0-3 in ACC action.
“This was the first match of the season that I thought every single player competed well,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “From a team standout point, this was definitely our best match of the season.”
The teams split matches at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles. First, Florida State’s Sam Chang and Jonathas Sucupira picked up their first dual match win as a pair, taking down Tech’s Jordan Delass and George Gvelesiani, 8-5, at No. 3. The Jackets’ Scott Blackmon and Zachary Rath evened the doubles score with an 8-4 win over FSU’s Andrew Bailey and Maciek Sykut.
The deciding match happened at No. 1 where Marko Rajevac and David North of Tech held a 7-4 advantage on Florida State’s Ytai Abougzir and Chris Westerhof before the Seminole pair stormed back and won five straight games for the thrilling 9-7 victory.
“The key point of the match was when Chris reflexed the volley to the corner to tie it up 7-all,” Hultquist said. “We then finally broke Rajevac’s serve and that was important because until that stage we had not had a break point on him all day. We rolled from there and it was a great win for Chris and Ytai.”
The Seminoles claimed all six singles matches in straight sets for the sweep. At center court, Abougzir made quick work of the Jackets’ Rajevac, 6-3, 6-2, to hand FSU a 2-0 lead. Next, Maciek Sykut lifted the Seminoles to a 3-0 lead when he defeated Delass, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 4. The match was clinched when Sucupira upended North at the second position, 6-3, 6-3.
Although they clinched the team win, the Seminoles were not quite done on their home turf, cruising to wins at Nos. 3, 5, and 6. Chang beat Zachary Rath, 7-5, 6-2, at the third spot and Westerhof defeated Gvelesiani, 7-5, 6-2, at No. 5. For the sweep, FSU freshman Chris Cloer won his fourth straight match with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Scott Blackmon in the sixth slot.
“Chris Cloer has been competing very hard,” Hultquist commented. “Anytime you enroll in January and arrive late there is an adjustment period. Chris is on top of his game right and playing at a high level.”
Florida State has just one day to rest as No. 19 Notre Dame (9-4) travels to Tallahassee for a 5 p.m. bout on Tuesday, March 14. According to Hultquist, the Seminoles are ready to take on their next top-20 opponent.
“We will have a light practice tomorrow. We have played a lot over the last week in a half so the guys need time to rest their legs. We will turn our attention to Notre Dame and then to Clemson Saturday. I look at our schedule and it is one of the most difficult in the country, especially our out-of-conference lineup. We are ready for the next challenge and we look forward to the upcoming week.”
1. (#29) Ytai Abougzir/Chris Westerhof (FSU) def. Marko Rajevac/David North (GT) 9-7
2. Scott Blackmon/Zachary Rath (GT) def. Andrew Bailey/Maciek Sykut (FSU) 8-4
3. Sam Chang/Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Jordan Delass/George Gvelesiani (GT) 8-5
1. #103 Ytai Abougzir (FSU) def. Marko Rajevac (GT) 6-3, 6-2
2. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. David North (GT) 6-3, 6-3
3. Sam Chang (FSU) def. Zachary Rath (GT) 7-5, 6-2
4. #109 Maciek Sykut (FSU) def. Jordan Delass (GT) 6-2, 6-2
5. Chris Westerhof (FSU) def. George Gvelesiani (GT) 7-5, 6-2
6. Chris Cloer (FSU) def. Scott Blackmon (GT) 6-4, 6-2