Feb. 15, 2006
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The Florida State men’s tennis team (3-3, 0-1 ACC) will make its inaugural appearance at the 2006 USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Seattle this week along with 15 of the nation’s top programs. The 13th-seeded Seminoles will battle fourth-seeded undefeated Pepperdine (10-0) in the first round on Friday, Feb. 17, beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET) at the Nordstrom Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Washington. The four-day tournament is collegiate tennis’ premier indoor championship and eleven of the top 12 teams from the latest Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings highlight the event. Matches will be played at the Lloyd Nordstrom Tennis Center and the Seattle Tennis Club. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be broadcasted live by Ken Thomas on RadioTennis.com on Feb. 18-19. Event information and the most up-to-date results are available at gohuskies.com. Full coverage of the FSU tennis team, including photo galleries and player/coach quotes, can be found at Seminoles.com at the conclusion of each day.
The Seminoles will more than likely play without their top-ranked singles player, Jonathas Sucupira (ranked No. 36) because of an injury. Sucupira has missed the entire spring season with a hand fracture. He and partner Sam Chang are also ranked No. 29 in doubles.
ITA NATIONAL RANKINGS:
Major injuries and a young lineup could be partly blamed for the reasons the Seminoles have skidded 27 spots in the polls during the last four weeks. After earning its highest-ever preseason ranking of No. 11, the Seminoles have dropped to No. 38 in the nation with losses to No. 39 Miami, No. 47 Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 75 Nebraska. Two of the defeats were by close scores of 4-3. Florida State has one ranked victory against No. 53 Penn. Individually, four Seminoles are ranked are ranked in singles: junior Jonathas Sucupira (No. 36), sophomore Sam Chang (No. 49), freshman Maciek “Magic” Sykut (No. 68) and junior Ytai Abougzir (No. 72). The Chang/Sucupira pair also earned a preseason national ranking of No. 29 in doubles and the Andrew Bailey and Sykut team ranks No. 63.
TIME TO REST:
By the time the Seminoles hit the court Friday, it will have been almost two weeks since Florida State has competed against an opponent. FSU was scheduled to play top-ranked Florida on Saturday, Feb. 11, but rain showers cancelled the meet.
WESTERHOF NEARS RECORD:
Florida State senior Chris Westerhof is one doubles victory shy of becoming Florida State’s all-time career doubles winner. He sits in first place with 79 wins along with legendary FSU tennis players Ken McKenzie (1991-95) and Jason White (1992-96). Also, he has 136 career overall wins (singles plus doubles victories) which puts him in eighth place all time and he needs 13 more victories for solo position of seventh place. Westerhof already holds the record for the most tandem single season wins.
JUST SO YOU KNOW
Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist needs 16 more wins to become the school’s third all-time leading coach by wins.