Oct. 29, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
As a team, the Florida State University men’s team finished up its fall ledger last week at the Omni Hotels / ITA Region II Tournament in North Carolina. But, for one Seminole the fall campaign has been extended by two more weeks. On Tuesday, junior Mat Cloer received an at-large invitation to the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
Hosted by the University of Michigan on November 6-8, the ITA Indoor Championships is the premier collegiate indoor event of the fall season. Half of the field is made up of the 16 finalist from the eight ITA regional tournaments. Two more spots are given to the ITA All-American champion and the ITA National Small College national champion. The other 14 at-large bids are handed out to the top players in the country.
“This is pretty significant for Mat. This is the most select tournament in the country,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “There are only 32 players in the entire draw and just 14 of them get an at-large bit. The tournament committee thought a lot of his play this year to give him an invitation. This gives him another opportunity to win a national tournament.”
Ranked 22nd in the preseason ITA national rankings, Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) has a 4-2 record during fall competition. In his first event of the season, he beat the No. 2 player in the country, Georgia’s Bo Hodge at the ITA All-American. Last week, Cloer advanced the quarterfinals of the of ITA Region II tournament after drawing the number one seed.
“Mat can go into this tournament with a nothing to lose attitude and leave it all on the court,” Hultquist added. “When you’re the number one seed, like he was for the last tournament, sometimes you feel that pressure to win. Mat is not going to be seeded for this tournament so he won’t have to worry about that and he can just got out and play his game. He’s playing well and he’s as good as anyone in this tournament so he has great chance to make a run.”
Tuesday was bittersweet for Cloer as he got the news of the at-large bid on the same day that he lost in the first round of the USTA’s City of Hammond Men’s Future’s event in Hammond, La. During his opening round match, Cloer dropped a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision to the University of Tennessee’s Simon Rea, the number 12 collegiate player in the nation.