May 27, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. – Florida State’s doubles team of senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) earned All-American honors tonight after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win in the round of 16 of the Doubles NCAA Championships.
“Being All-American is very prestigious and something that is with you the rest of your life,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “I’m just so happy that Vahid and Connor are All-Americans. Vahid’s had a terrific career and has done so many great things and now with him being a senior and getting All-American, it is so rightly deserved on his part.”
The No. 13 doubles team defeated the No. 2 team in the nation in Drew Courtney and Michael Shabaz of Virginia. The Virginia duo was last year’s National Champions.
“I thought the key to the match was that Virginia’s guys serve so well, and as well as they served, we were in a lot of games to break,” continued Hultquist. “I thought we adjusted our positioning and just kept battling and didn’t get discouraged when they had aces and huge serves. I thought the key to the match was that we were in a lot of return games.”
After winning the first round 6-4, Virginia won the first three games of the second set to take an early lead. FSU would win three straight games to tie it at 3-3, but Virginia came back to win the set 6-3 to force a third set. In the third set, Florida State served first and took the 1-0 lead. With a 2-1 lead, Florida State broke Virginia and did not look back as they won five games in a row to win the match.
“It was a really high intensity match,” said Mirzadeh. “Connor and I knew we had to come out really energetic and treat this as a dual match. We just came out and tried to serve smarter and try to stay in their service games. We did good in the first set then in the second set they served really well but we showed a lot of poise and fight in the third set to pull that match out. They are a really good team so it was a good win for us.
“We’re here with one goal and that’s to win the title. We’ve done well so far but we’re going to have another tough match tomorrow. Getting All-American is a bonus for my career but we’re not done yet.”
Mirzadeh and Smith are now 21-9 on the season and will play in the quarterfinals tomorrow. They face the No. 3 team in the nation of Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher of Stanford.
Mirzadeh and Smith are the first Seminoles to win All-American status since 2009 when Jean-Yves Aubone earned it in singles. They are the first doubles team to earn the honor since 1995 when Ken McKenzie and Brian Stanton won it.
The NCAA tournament is taking place at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., at the Taube Family Tennis Center. The school has been hosting the team championships since May 19 and it continue through May 30 at the conclusion of singles and doubles finals. Information and live stats can be found online at http://www.gostanford.com/ot/2011-ncaa-tennis-tournamentcentral.html.
2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championships
Taube Family Tennis Center
May 27 – Round Of 16
No. 13 Mirzadeh/Smith (FSU) def. No. 2 Shabaz/Courtney (UVA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
May 26 – First Round
No. 13 Mirzadeh/Smith (FSU) def. No. 39 Bocaert/Viel (USA) 6-4, 6-4
May 25 – First Round
No. 58 Amit Inbar (UCLA) d. No. 25 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2