TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 29 Florida State men’s tennis team (13-5, 3-1 ACC) fell to the No. 47 UCF Knights (11-5) 4-1 in a tight match on Sunday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
The match was much closer than the final score may indicate, as each court in both doubles and singles was hotly contested and the Seminoles were in good shape on the two unfinished courts when the match was clinched.
The deciding point of the match was on court five, with freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar down a set to UCF’s Chris Barrus. The second set was locked at 3-3 when Barrus was able to win the deuce point to go up 4-3 and later clinch the court and the match 6-3, 6-3.
In doubles play, all three courts were tied at 3-3 at one point. Juniors Terrance Whitehurst and Terrell Whitehurst were able to grab a 6-3 win on court three, but the Knights took control and won the doubles point from there.
This was only the second time the Noles dropped the doubles point all year, the first since a 4-1 win over Pepperdine in February.
“I was pretty disappointed with the way we played in doubles, and I think that set the tone for the match.” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We pride ourselves in the doubles, we’d only lost one other time all year. Had we won the doubles, we actually would have been in control of the match.”
After dropping the doubles point, the Seminoles won the first set on three of the six singles courts, and would have needed a fourth point to go their way in order to win.
“I think that was atypical for how we play, but we gave them the confidence going into the singles,” Hultquist said. “They played well (in singles), I thought they especially played well at (courts) two and three, those have been good points for us.”
In a battle of ranked opponents, No. 52 sophomore Aziz Dougaz bested UCF’s No. 63 Korey Lovett 6-4, 6-4 to get the Seminoles on the board at 2-1.
Terrance Whitehurst was in control on court six, about to win 6-3, 5-4. Redshirt junior Jose Gracia won the first set 6-0 and was headed to a third set on court four when the match ended.
The Knights are coached by John Roddick, the elder brother of Andy Roddick and former head coach at Oklahoma. Roddick served as assistant coach at Florida State from 1999-2000. This is UCF’s first all-time win over the Seminoles; Florida State leads the all-time series 10-1.
No. 52 Aziz Dougaz is riding a four-match win streak after earning his third win over a ranked opponent this season. Dougaz has defeated No. 63 Korey Lovett (UCF), No. 67 Piotr Lomacki (Miami), and No. 10 Alfredo Perez (UF) all in the month of March.
Redshirt junior Lucas Poullain continues to lead the Noles in wins, holding a 12-4 record on court three following today’s loss.
The Whitehurst brothers Terrance and Terrell earned another doubles win, upping their season total to eight victories.
Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar played again on court five, unfortunately falling 6-3, 6-3. He still leads the team in winning percentage with a 10-2 record.
The Seminoles will hit the road to Durham, N.C. to face the Duke Blue Devils (10-7, 3-3 ACC) next Friday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m at the Ambler Tennis Stadium.
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#47 UCF 4, #29 Florida State 1
1. #52 Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. #67 Korey Lovett (UCF-M) 6-4, 6-4
2. Danny Kerznerman (UCF-M) def. #125 Guy Iradukunda (FS) 6-3, 6-1
3. Harrison Richmond (UCF-M) def. Lucas Poullain (FS) 6-3, 6-1
4. Jose Gracia (FS) vs. Mariano Porter (UCF-M) 6-0, 4-6, 1-0, unfinished
5. Chris Barrus (UCF-M) def. Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) 6-3, 6-3
6. Terrance Whitehurst (FS) vs. Kalman Boyd (UCF-M) 6-3, 5-4, unfinished
1. Mariano Porter/Harrison Richmond (UCF-M) def. #71 Guy Iradukunda/Aziz Dougaz (FS) 6-4
2. Danny Kerznerman/Korey Lovett (UCF-M) def. Lucas Poullain/Jose Gracia (FS) 7-5
3. Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) def. Chris Barrus/Enrique Paya (UCF-M) 6-3
UCF 11-5; National ranking #47
Florida State 13-5 (3-1 ACC); National ranking #29
Order of finish:
Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,3,5)