April 12, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Celebrating a milestone is always that much better when it comes in a team victory. Unfortunately, Monday’s (April 12) match with Notre Dame will be bittersweet for Florida State University men’s tennis players Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof. The duo broke the school’s single-season doubles record, but it was not enough as the Seminoles lost to the Fighting Irish 6-1.
No. 33 Florida State goes into Friday’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament on a five-match losing streak as the Tribe’s overall record dips to 10-11. Thirty-fifth-ranked Notre Dame improves to 13-8.
In the final match of the regular season, Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) needed just one more win to break the three-way tie atop the list. The duo produced the Seminoles lone win in doubles as they beat Luis Haddock and Matthew Scott 9-7. The FSU tandem won in dramatic fashion as it battled back from 7-4 deficit to win the match.
“They’ve been playing good all year,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said of the duo. “This is an excellent accomplishment for them. They can get better. I don’t think they have peaked yet.”
However, the win by the sophomore tandem came after the Fighting Irish had already secured the doubles point. Paul Hidaka and Ryan Keckley beat Joe Bassett (Monticello, Fla.) and Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 8-6 at number three and Brent D’Amico and Eric Langenkamp prevailed 8-5 at No. 2 over Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
Being the last one on the court was a theme for Westerhof on Monday as he produced Florida State’s lone point of the afternoon after the team match had been settled. The sophomore won his 18th match of the year – tripling his singles’ production from last year – by beating Scott 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
“Chris is playing excellent right now,” Hultquist added. “He’s doing the things we’ve asked him to do and they are working for him. He’s really finishing around the net. It’s tough to play hard after the team has lost, but I’m proud of him for coming through with a win.”
Just as been the case this year, several close matches went against the Seminoles that could have turned the tide. Down a set, #18 Cloer rallied to take the second stanza before falling in the third set to #93 Haddock 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Groslimond got the advantage earlier, but couldn’t put Stephen Bass away as he prevailed 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 at number three.
Down 5-2 in the second set, Joao Paolo Bounassar (Maringa Parana, Brazil) made a late charge in his number six match, but it was not enough as Keckley held on for a 6-4, 6-4. At number four, Webb dropped the first set tiebreaker before falling to D’Amico 7-5 (1), 6-0. Barry King got the best of Bassett 6-2, 6-1 at number five.
“We’re pretty banged up right and some of the guys have had to suck it up and play through some minor injuries, but it’s that time of the year,” Hultquist noted. “Some people don’t realize how physical tennis can be. Playing on hard courts is basically like playing on concrete and it can be hard on your joints and back.”
With the regular season concluded, the Seminole now turn their attention to the ACC Championships. Seeded sixth, FSU opens the league summit on Friday (April 16) against Virginia, the No. 2 seed, at 3 p.m.
#35 Notre Dame 6, #33 Florida State 1
No. 1: #19 Groslimond / Westerhof (FSU) Haddock / Scott (UND) 9-7
No. 2: D'Amico / Eric Langenkamp (ND) d. Cloer / Sucupira (FSU) 8-5
No. 3: Paul Hidaka / Keckley (ND) d. Bassett / Webb (FSU) 8-6
No. 1: #93 Luis Haddock (UND) d. #18 Mat Cloer (FSU) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
No. 2: Chris Westerhof (FSU) d. Matthew Scott (UND) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
No. 3: Stephen Bass (UND) d. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) 1-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 4: Brent D'Amico (UND) d. Chip Webb (FSU) 7-6 (1), 6-0
No. 5: Barry King (UND) d. Joe Bassett (FSU) 6-2, 6-1
No. 6: Ryan Keckley (UND) d. Joao Paolo Bounassar (FSU) 6-4, 6-4