Feb. 18, 2006
SEATTLE – The No. 38th-ranked Florida State men’s tennis team (4-4, 0-1 ACC) cashed in its biggest win of the season in the most unexpected way Saturday morning, cruising past No. 10 South Carolina (6-3), 4-1, in the consolation bracket of the USTA-ITA National Men’s Team Indoor Championships at the Seattle Tennis Club.
From the start, it seemed as though the Seminoles were at a disadvantage considering Florida State’s top two singles players were out of the lineup and three freshmen were competing on the courts. Juniors Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.), ranked No. 36 and 72 in the country, were sidelined with an injury and an illness which forced every player to move up in the lineup. Nonetheless, Florida State came out on fire and clinched the doubles point at courts two and three.
“We played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm in doubles,” said Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “The guys went out there and competed with heart and were determined to the get the doubles point. South Carolina is one of the top team’s in the nation and this is definitely our biggest win of the season.”
The Seminoles’ Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) and Chris Cloer (Brevard, NC) grabbed onto some instant momentum in the No. 3 doubles slot and dominated Adam Adler and Thomas Stoddard, 8-1. At the second court, the 63rd-ranked pair of Andrew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) downed USC’s Tom Eklund and Jaime Cuellar, 8-4, to hand FSU the doubles point. Competing together for the first time in their careers, senior Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) and junior Jason Hood (Columbia, SC) did not finish their match at No. 1 doubles.
In singles play, Sykut, Hood and Bailey earned the biggest victories of their careers with wins at Nos. 3, 5, and 6.
At No. 6, Bailey was off the court an hour before anyone else after dominating Adler, 6-1, 6-0. The Gamecocks’ Eklund answered back against Chang (6-1, 6-4) and provided USC’s lone point at No.1.
With FSU leading 2-1, the Seminoles’ Sykut (ranked No. 76) picked up a 6-2, 7-5 victory against Sapeko at court three and Hood sealed the deal versus Stoddard with a 6-1, 7-6(4) victory at No. 5.
Florida State, the No. 13 seed, will face the winner of Penn-Baylor tomorrow at 2 pm (ET) at the Seattle Tennis Club. Live video streaming will not be available.