April 22, 2005
CARY, N.C. –
Having already played a close match with Georgia Tech once this year, the Florida State University men’s tennis team knew it was in for a tough evening against the Yellow Jackets in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The No. 25 Seminoles advanced to their first ACC semifinal bout with a 4-2 win over No. 28 Georgia Tech on Friday (April 22) at the Cary Tennis Center.
Florida State continued its best season under Dwayne Hultquist, improving to 17-6 on the year. It equals the most wins at FSU since the 1997 campaign. Georgia Tech dropped to 14-9 with the loss.
“Georgia Tech played well tonight and won a lot of the big points,” Hultquist said. “I thought Jeff (Groslimond) played really well. He was down 4-0 in the first and came back to win 7-5 and was down 4-1 in the second and came back to win 7-5 again. If he doesn’t come back like that it could have gone to three sets and that changes the whole momentum of the match. Instead we were up 3-1 and only had to win on of the last three matches left on the court.”
On the strength of America’s best doubles line-up, Florida State captured the first point of the evening by winning at number one and three. The 31st-ranked tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) got the Seminoles started with an 8-4 win over David North and Marko Rajevac at number one. Wrapping up the Seminoles’ 18th-straight doubles point and 22nd out of 23 tries was Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) at number three as they best Scott Blackmon and Zachary Rath 8-4.
`I felt that doubles was going to be a big point once again given that they had a chance to beat us last time,” Hultquist added. “We beat them pretty good tonight at one and three and were on serve at two so we had a good effort from our doubles tonight.”
The Yellow Jackets evened the match when No. 24 Jose Luis Muguruza beat No. 28 Cloer 6-4, 6-4 at number one, but Florida State won the next two matches to take a 3-1 lead. Abougzir cruised to his sixth win in a row, beating North 6-1, 6-4 at number two. After battling back from deep deficits in both sets, Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) prevailed 7-5, 7-5 over Rath.
Pulling Georgia Tech back to within one point was Rajevac at number three. He came through with a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 win over Sucupira. Any thoughts of a Yellow Jacket come back were squashed by Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) as he beat Sukhwa Young 6-2, 6-7 (14), 6-1 to clinch the match.
“I don’t think that were looking past North Carolina tomorrow toward a shot at Virginia on Sunday,” Hultquist noted. “In fact we got on them tonight about not stepping up when the big points are on the line. If we play well tomorrow we’re going to have a shot at playing for a conference title so I don’t think we’ll overlook North Carolina.”
The win over Georgia Tech sets up a match-up Saturday at 1 p.m. with North Carolina. The Tar Heels earned their spot by upsetting eighth-ranked Duke 4-2 earlier on Friday. Florida State won the first meeting between the two schools 4-3 on March 6.
No. 25 Florida State 4, No. 28 Georgia Tech 2
No. 1: No. 24 Jose Luis Muguruza (GT) def. #28 Mat Cloer (FSU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU) def. David North (GT) 6-1, 6-4
No. 3: Marko Rajevac (GT) def. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3
No. 4: Chris Westerhof (FSU) def. Sukhwa Young (GT) 6-2, 6-7 (14), 6-1
No. 5: Jeff Groslimond (FSU) def. Zachary Rath (GT) 7-5, 7-5
No. 6: Sam Chang vs. Jordan Delass (GT) 6-7(6), 7-6 (6), 4-2
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 5, 3, 4
No. 1: #31 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) def. #55 North/ Rajevac (GT) 8-4
No. 2: #38 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) vs. Muguruza/Young (GT) 6-6 DNF
No. 3: Sucupira/Chang (FSU) def.Blackmon/Rath (GT) 8-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3