Sept. 11, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Fifty years of Florida State University men’s tennis will be represented when more than 30 players come back to Tallahassee for the Seminoles’ Alumni Match on Friday (September 12). Included in the many alumni coming back for the 6 p.m. exhibition at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center are several players who competed at the NCAA Tournament and received a host of honors.
“It’s exciting to have so many former players come back and it shows our current players how much the alumni care about the program,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “This event proves that the former players have strong feelings towards the university and the tennis program. We have two players flying back from Europe just to see their old teammates. That’s the perfect example of the kind of pride we want to instill into this program.”
One of two FSU players to earn All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Brian Stanton is one of the top alums returning for the event. The only player in school history to play both singles and doubles at the NCAA Tournament in the same year (1995), he was a three-year All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection from 1993-95. During his freshman year, Stanton teamed up with Ford Lankford to win the No. 3 ACC doubles title before starting his run with Ken McKenzie that culminated in a top ten ranking in 1995.
Also returning for the match will be Stanton’s teammate for three years and another NCAA participant Jason White. A two-time No. 2 ACC doubles champion (1994-95), he added a number four singles title in 1995 before earning a spot in the national tourney his final year. During the school’s last year in the Metro Conference, Stephen Noteboom left his mark on the league as he won the No. 1 singles title and was named league MVP.
A true test of the history and the support that the program has gotten over the years, over a quarter of Friday’s participants played for the Seminoles during the program’s first 20 years. Among the program’s pioneers who will be back are James Crowther who played for Keith Pitchford in 1954 and Dr. Ray Bellamy, one of five men’s tennis players to be inducted in to the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame. Newer faces include Xavier Luscan and Rodrigo Laub who finished their careers in the last two years after winning the 2002 ACC Indoor doubles title.
Besides former players, a number of past coaches will be back for the alumni match. Returning to the school that he led to a pair of Metro Conference titles is Richard McKey, who ranks second in school history after racking up 129 victories from 1984-90. Also coming back is one of McKey’s former assistants John Vinson, who also served as an aide to David Barron from 1995-99.
The current FSU squad takes the court for the first time in the fall on Thursday, September 18, when it opens up the Seminole Fall Classic at 5 p.m. Florida State finished the 2003 campaign ranked 32nd in the country after tying for second ACC and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Junior Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C. / Farrugut), the 2003 ACC Player of the Year begins the year ranked 22nd in the country by the ITA.