March 16, 2006
When one looks at Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist’s schedule in the last two weeks, it’s hard to imagine anyone’s life could be complex.
First he took his Seminoles on the road last week to face three opponents, including two ranked teams, and FSU returned home last Sunday to defeat then-No. 18 Georgia Tech. Two days later, the Seminoles were back on the courts to battle No. 20 Notre Dame. After three hours of sleep, he and wife Angela welcomed their fourth daughter, a nine-pound, seven ounce girl named Mackenzie Elaine, into the world Wednesday morning.
If that’s not enough, Hultquist will lead his No. 30 Seminoles (8-8, 1-1 ACC) to a showdown with No. 5 Clemson Sunday at home beginning at 1pm. The Tigers are 17-2, 2-0 ACC and have won 13 matches in a row.
Playing a top-10 team will be nothing new for Florida State this season considering the Seminoles have faced No. 2 Pepperdine, No. 9 Baylor and No. 10 Ohio State. The Seminoles are 0-3 against top-10 teams this season but Hultquist believes his team is ready for its latest challenge.
“We have been playing really strong the last couple of weeks,” Hultquist said. “We finally have Jonathas Sucupira back and he is almost 100 percent. Sam Chang is competing hard and has won five matches in a row. Ytai Abougzir picked up a strong win on Tuesday against the 13th-ranked player in the nation and freshman Chris Cloer has won four out of the last five matches. Our other freshman, Maciek Sykut, has won six of his last eight matches and senior Chris Westerhof has the ability to win on any given day.”
Abougzir and Chang, competing at Nos. 1 and 3 in singles, have been on a roll in recent weeks.
Against Notre Dame, Abougzir logged the biggest singles victory of his career after upsetting No. 13 Stephen Bass at No. 1. Abougzir’s 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win snapped a seven-match win streak for Bass. Meanwhile, Chang, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference “Performer of the Week,” also recorded a ranked win as he overpowered No. 89 Brett Helgeson 7-5, 6-4.
Clemson has three players ranked in the top-100 of the latest ITA-Fila national rankings. Playing at No. 1 singles, Sander Koning is ranked No. 81, followed by No. 84 Jermaine Jenkins, who competes in the third slot. Clement Reix plays at No. 2 and is ranked No. 93.
Florida State’s No. 1 duo of Abougzir and Westerhof is ranked No. 29 as a pair.
After the FSU-Clemson match, the Seminoles will hit the road on March 24 for a battle against No. 68 Maryland at 3pm.