May 6, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –
No matter the outcome is of next week’s match between Florida State University and the University of Arizona in the opening round of the NCAA men’s tennis tournament, the Seminoles know they will have at least one representative in Tulsa, Okla. at the end of the month
The 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) has been selected for the singles draw of the NCAA Championships, May 26-31. Florida State may have another entry as the tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) are alternates in the doubles draw.
“Last year I didn’t appreciate being at the NCAA Tournament, but this year I feel very fortunate to be there,” Cloer said. “It’s an honor and I didn’t look at it like that last year. I think that I’m playing better than I did last year so I look forward to improving on my performance from a year ago.”
This is the junior’s second trip to the national summit in as many years. Last year his first trip ended quickly as he fell 6-4, 6-2, to Tulsa’s Alejandro Tejerina in the first round. Cloer is the first Seminole to ever get an invitation to the NCAA Tournament more than once.
Currently ranked 27th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, Cloer has three victories over the top 16 seeds in the tournament. He boasts an overall record of 20-11 with nine of those wins coming against ranked players. The 20 wins this year make Cloer just the third player in school history to post at least 20 wins in back-to-back seasons.
“We’re excited for Mat,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “We knew he would get in, but I’m a little disappointed that he didn’t get seeded. He’s got three wins over seeded players and only one loss. The important thing is that he’s in and now it’s up to him to make a good run at it and see how far he can go. Right now, though, the important thing is that he focuses on the team match and then we’ll go from there.”
After nearly a month layoff, Cloer and the entire No. 47 Florida State team will take on the 20th-ranked Wildcats on May 15 at 1 p.m. in Gainesville, Fla. A victory over Arizona would put the Seminoles in Sunday’s noon bout against the winner of the Florida-Central Florida contest.