Dec. 2, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Over the last two years, the Florida State University men’s tennis team has made a name for itself regionally and nationally. That attention has sparked interest from some of the best high school players in the country. One in particular that wants to wear the Garnet and Gold is Sam Chang as he is slated to join the Seminoles in the fall of 2004.
Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Chang (Delray Beach, Fla.) has been major contributor to the varsity team at Delray’s American Heritage High School. Last season, Chang captured the Florida High School Athletic Association 1A championships during his junior year, beating Mario Jutronic of Bradenton Academy 6-2, 6-2 in a match played at FSU’s Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
“Sam has been very successful internationally and he has aspirations of playing professionally after college,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “He’s very quick and technically very sound. Once he comes here and gets a little stronger, a little bit bigger, he’s going to be a very good competitor.”
The Panthers also took home the team title in 2003 after finishing as the runner up at the 2A level in 2002. In doubles action, Chang advanced to the quarterfinals of last year’s tournament with his partner Chris Liao.
After compiling a perfect 16-0 singles record, the accolades began to roll in for Chang. Among the best was Player of the Year as chosen by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He and Liao also earned First-Team All-Area doubles honors from the publication. Chang received his initial award from the Sun-Sentinel following his sophomore campaign when he was selected to the All-County squad.
Even though he still has one season left in his prep career, Chang has plenty of experience on the international scene. This April he advanced the quarterfinals of the Shuzo Challenge Japan Open. During the summer of 2002, he won the International Berimbau Junior Cup in Mexico. Chang helped his international ranking this summer when he advanced the round of 16 at the USTA’s International Grass Court Championships after falling in the final round of qualifier for the US Open Junior Championships.
“Sam brings a lot of talent to our program and has a chance to step in right away and contribute to our line-up, Hultquist added. “He could play at the top or middle of our line-up. He’s going to compete right away for one of the six spots and that is going to make everyone on the team that much better.”
Following a successful fall campaign, Chang’s future Florida State teammates are finished competing until after the New Year. The Seminoles start the spring season on January 16 at the ACC Indoor Championships.