April 23, 2005
CARY, N.C. –
It’s the match the Florida State University men’s tennis team has been waiting to play for nearly a month now. After inclement weather canceled the No. 25 Seminoles’ match with No. 2 Virginia, the two teams will meet in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championships match on Sunday at 10 a.m. after the Tribe beat North Carolina 4-3 on Saturday (April 23) at the Cary Tennis Center.
Florida State ups its record to 18-6 on the year – the school’s best mark since 1995 when it also won 18 contests – as it won its first semifinal match at the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels had their run at the league summit ended at 16-10.
“We came out of doubles and played really and got an early lead,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “We were in control of the match early and North Carolina fought back, you have to give them a lot of credit. For a while it didn’t look good for them, but they fought back and it ended up a lot closer than we anticipated.”
Winners of six-straight and nine of their last ten contests, the Seminoles have not played for a title since 1991 during their last year in the Metro Conference. That year the Tribe finished runner-up to South Carolina for the third year in a row. Florida State’s last championship came in 1988 when it shared the Metro crown with Memphis.
Just as it has done in its last 18 matches, Florida State started the afternoon by winning the doubles point. No. 38 Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa), wasted no time in dispensing of Jonathan Janda and Raian Luchici 8-2 at number two.
The Tar Heels evened everything up when Geoff Boyd and Brad Pomeroy pulled off an upset at number one, beating No. 31 Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) 8-4. Down 4-2 at number three, Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) rallied to win the last six games for the 8-4 victory over Aly Mandour and Derek Porter to win the doubles point.
“I thought that Sam and Jonathas winning the last six games was the key as far as doubles went,” Hultquist added. “Jeff and Chris are playing well and just ripped through Janda and Luchici. Jonathan and Sam struggled a little bit in the beginning, but I was real pleased to see them break serve the last three times.”
North Carolina, who was coming off an upset of No. 8 Duke, evened the bout when Boy beat Sucupira 6-4, 6-3 at number three. That’s when Florida State’s pair of All-ACC seniors stepped up to give the Seminoles a lead they would not relinquish.
Rolling to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 121 Benjamin Carlotti was Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) as he won for the eighth time in nine matches. Ending the first four-match losing streak of his collegiate career, 28th-ranked Cloer beat No. 70 Luchici 6-4, 6-3 at number one.
“You like to see it when your seniors really wanted to do well in their last tournament and will do what ever it takes to help the team win,” Hultquist noted. “Mat was down in his first set and then he really stepped it up and played with a lot of confidence. Chip got us off to a great start in singles and is really playing well right now.”
Getting the Tar Heels within a point was Porter as he beat Westerhof 6-1, 7-5 at number four. Putting to bed any chances of a North Carolina come back was Groslimond as he clinched the match for the second day in a row with his 6-4, 7-6 (6) win over Janda at number five.
“We’ve been waiting a long to play this match against Virginia and now we’ve got the opportunity,” Hultquist noted. “One of the things I like about our team is that they didn’t celebrate after the win today. A lot of times you’ll celebrate after a big win, but our guys didn’t waste any emotions because they are very focused on tomorrow. This is the match that we came here to play.”
Inclement weather kept the Seminoles and No. 2 Cavaliers from finishing their March 16 match at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. After starting the match five hours after the scheduled 4 p.m. start, the two teams did not even get through doubles before more rain postponed the match. Scheduling conflicts prevent Virginia from returning to Tallahassee to replay the match. UVA holds a 2-1 advantage over the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament after bouncing FSU from the opening round in 2004.
No. 25 Florida State 4, No. 45 North Carolina 2
No. 1: #28 Mat Cloer def. #70 Raian Luchici FS 6-4, 6-3
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir vs. Brad Pomeroy FS led 6-1, 4-6,
No. 3: Geoff Boyd (UNC) def. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 6-4, 6-3
No. 4: Derek Porter (UNC) def. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 5: Jeff Groslimond (FSU) def. Jonathan Janda (UNC) 6-4, 7-6 (6)
No. 6: Chip Webb (FSU) def. #121 Benjamin Carlotti (UNC) 6-3, 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 6, 1, 4, 5
No. 1: Boyd/Pomeroy (UNC) def. #31 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) 8-4
No. 2: #38 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) def. Janda/Luchici (UNC) 8-2
No. 3: Sucupira/ Sam Chang (FSU) def Aly Mandour/Porter (UNC) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3