May 12, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 47 Florida State men’s tennis team (9-14) partakes in its ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament with a 10 am bout against No. 21 Mississippi State (13-8). The winner of that match will play Saturday at 3:00 pm against the winner of the No. 16 Georgia Tech and Middle Tennessee State match. All the matches are being played on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.
IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Florida State enters the NCAA Championships for the 14th season with a 12-13 all-time record. The Seminoles reached the quarterfinals in 2005 and have made it to the final site in 2008 and 2009. The Garnet and Gold have ad¬vanced past the first round every year since 2005.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
This tournament marks Mississippi State’s 20th appearance in the NCAA Championships. The Semi¬noles and Bulldogs have met 26 times with Missis¬sippi State leading the way by winning 16 of those matches. Mississippi State has four players ranked by the ITA in No. 60 George Coupland, No. 61 Artem Ilyushin, No. 86 Louis Cant and No. 92 Malte Stropp. The Bulldogs are 13-8 this season and won its first ever Western Division crown in the SEC. The Seminoles are 10-16 against the Bulldogs with their last meeting in 1997.
This season senior Vahid Mirzadeh leads the team with a 22-10 singles record. This will be his second straight season on the 20 win season list. Mirzadeh has been stellar in the ACC where he boasts a 9-3 record with his only losses com¬ing to players in the top 16. He has spent the season ranked by the ITA where he started the season at No. 42 and has reached as high as No. 21.
MIRZADEH AND SMITH DOUBLE THE FUN
The duo of Vahid Mirzadeh and Connor Smith has been tearing up court one of doubles play this season. The pair currently has a 19-9 record which includes an 8-4 ACC record. They are currently No. 13 in the ITA rankings and have won six matches against top 45 teams.
KELLY-HOUSTON IN THE ACC
Jordan Kelly-Houston is second on the team this season in ACC wins. The sophomore is 8-4 in singles and 6-3 in doubles play. Kelly-Houston won his first ranked match of his collegiate career in the last weekend of regular play. He defeated No. 90 Joey Burkhardt of UNC 6-4, 7-6 (7). In doubles play, he and Blake Davis were 2-0 against ranked opponents.
HOW MANY TOP 10 TEAMS DID YOU PLAY?
This season Florida State played their toughest schedule ever. If the 23 opponents they faced, 21 were ranked by the ITA at one point this season. During that time, Florida State faced a top 10 team seven times. Five of those matches came against non-conference opponents. Although the team has 14 losses this season, the worst loss came to a team that is currently No. 48 in the nation.