May 11, 2005 - by

NCAA Tournament Run Begins Against Ball State Saturday At Kentucky For Florida State Men’s Tennis

May 11, 2005

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First Serve:
#18 Florida State Men’s Tennis (18-7 overall, 7-2 ACC)
at NCAA Tournament
Saturday-Sunday, May 14-15
Hosted by University of Kentucky
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex – Lexington, Ky.


Ground Strokes:
FSU’s NCAA Tournament Runs Begins Against Ball State At Kentucky Ideally the Florida State University men’s tennis team would be hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, but the Seminoles will start their march towards College Station, Texas, in Lexington, Ky. No. 18 Florida State drew the number two seed for the regional and will face Ball State at 9 a.m. on Saturday (May 14). A win over the No. 75 Cardinals would pit the Seminoles against the host Wildcats or Butler at 1 p.m on Sunday.


Hultquist Returns to Old Kentucky Home
The trip to Lexington will be a homecoming of sorts for Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist. The Seminole net boss began his collegiate coaching career at Kentucky as a graduate assistant for current Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery during the 1991 season. After spending one year with the Wildcats Hultquist moved on to be the assistant at Texas. During his lone year in Lexington, Kentucky posted an 18-12 mark, finished tied for third in the Southeastern Conference and advanced to the NCAA Tournament where UK lost 5-3 in the second round to Arizona State.


Seminoles Set For First Meeting With Ball State
Hoping that history is in on its side, Florida State will try to remain undefeated against the Mid-American Conference Saturday when the Seminoles take on Ball State for the first time. Overall, the Tribe is 8-0 against the MAC with the last meeting against coming in 1994 when they beat Miami (OH) 5-2 in Tallahassee. FSU has dominated the MAC, dropping only 11 matches in eight meetings. The Cardinals come into the match with a 20-8 record after winning the MAC Tournament. Ball State is lead by a strong doubles team of Matt Baccarani and Patrick Thompson, who are ranked 24th in the latest ITA poll.


Second Round Match Would Be Ninth Vs. UK, First Against Bulldogs
Should the Seminoles beat Ball State in the first round on Saturday, they would potential take on a Kentucky squad that they haven’t played since 1986. Overall, Florida State is 4-3 against the Wildcats (20-9 overall), but have dropped three of the last four. FSU last win was a 5-3 decision in 1985. Florida State is 84-136 against the SEC. The Tribe is 1-1 against the league in the NCAA Tournament with a win over South Carolina (1996) and loss to Florida (2003). UK has had a problem defending its home court the last two years in the NCAA Regionals, getting upset by Ohio State in 2003 and then by former Seminole Joey Rive’s TCU squad last year.


If Butler (15-12) upsets Kentucky and FSU prevails over Ball State, it would set up the first meeting between the two schools. Florida State’s only match against a team from the Horizon League was a 9-0 blanking of Illinois-Chicago in 1980.


Track Florida State Men’s Tennis On The Information Super Highway
As Florida State makes its march towards College Station, Texas, fans call following the team on the world wide web. Pre and post match releases will be available on the school’s official website: www.seminoles.com. This weekend fans can follow Florida State’s matches with live stats available on Kentucky’s site at: http://www.ukathletics.com/index.php?s=&change_well_id=2&url_article_id=15575. The official NCAA Tournament website is: http://ncaasports.com/tennis/mens.


Seminoles Look For Tournament Trend Reversal
Now that Florida State is becoming a regular in the NCAA Tournament, it wants to start establishing a new tradition of winning. The Seminoles come into this weekend’s matches with just a 2-7 mark in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State is 1-2 during its two trips under Dwayne Hultquist.


Florida State Advances To First ACC Tournament Title Match
After seven unsuccessful tries, the Seminoles made their first appearance in the finals of the ACC Tournament this year. Unfortunately, Florida State dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 2 Virginia. Senior Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) provided the Seminoles with their only win, beating No. 15 Doug Stewart 6-1, 6-3.


Cloer Wins ITA Mideast/Region Arthur Ashe Award
With three years of being recognized for his work on the courts, Mat Cloer was rewarded for his accolades away from the game. The senior added to his trophy case the ITA/Mideast Region Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship as announced by the ITA. The Arthur Ashe Award is given to the player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements. Winner of the Mideast Regional award, Cloer will not compete against the winners of the seven other regions for the national honor


Doubles Dominance
Despite the loss to Virginia in doubles, Florida State still has the best doubles record in the country, having won the first point in 23-of-25 matches. The tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) lead the way with a 20-3 mark in dual matches, while Mat Cloer and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) are at 17-5 followed by Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) at 15-4.


Hultquist Is One Win Short Of Reaching No. 80
In the 57 years of Florida State men’s tennis, only four coaches have reached the 80-win milestone. Current net mentor Dwayne Hultquist needs just one more triumph to join the club as he currently has a 79-65 career record. Currently 22nd in ACC history, he needs just four victories to tie Hall of Famer Lex Wood for fourth in school history at 84 triumphs.


Seminoles Continue Best Season In A Decade
By winning two matches in the ACC Tournament, Florida State has bolstered its record to the best in ten years as the current 18-7 mark equals the most wins since the 1995 addition posted an 18-9 record. FSU’s .720 winning percentage is the best since Richard McKee’s 1985 team won at an .862 (25-4) clip. The eight-win improvement from last year is the third-best turnaround in school history.


Westerhofs Have Ties To Both Florida State And Ball State
If Michael Westerhof is an attendance Saturday morning he might not know who to cheer for when his younger brother Chris Westerhof plays his alma mater. The elder Westerhof was a four-year letterman for Ball State and earned All-MAC honors while playing on a pair of NCAA Tournament teams.


Player Notes:
Mat Cloer – Brevard, N.C – #1 Singles
The Skinny: Two-time ACC Player of the Year and three-time All-ACC…Winner of the ITA/Mideast Region Arthur Ashe Award…Currently ranked 26th in ITA Poll…Selected for his third NCAA Singles Tournament appearance, a first for an FSU player…Ranks fourth in school history with 82 singles wins and fifth with 148 combined wins…15-9 on the year…Took fall semester off to play on the FUTURES Tour…Played Jonas Bjorkman in the first round of Tallahassee Challenger (April 5)…Nearly half of his victories this year (seven) have come against ranked players this year…One of two players on the roster to win a pair of matches at the ACC Tournament.


Ytai Abougzir – Boca Raton, Fla. – #2 Singles
The Skinny: Has won eight of his last 11singles matches…14-9 singles record…13 wins at number two are the most by a Seminole in four years…Beat Duke’s #96 Jonathan Stokke for first win over ranked player…Has not lost to an unranked player since Texas A&M – Corpus Christi’s Raul Morant-Rivas beat him 6-0, 6-0 at the Blue-Gray Classic…Sat out 2004 season in compliance with NCAA eligibility rules…Leads team with six ACC wins.



Jeff Groslimond – Atlanta, Ga. – #3 Singles
The Skinny: 20th player in school history to reach the 20-win plateau with a pair of victories at the ACC Tournament, only one of two Seminoles to win two matches at the league summit…Lost 6-3, 6-1 to Kentucky’s Nate Emge at last year’s ITA All-American…Tops on the team with seven three-set victories…Ranked as high as No. 81 in the country (3/1)…Has played positions 2-5 in the line-up…Owns a 3-3 record against ranked opponents…Rates fifth in school history with 72 doubles wins and ninth with 128 combined wins.



Chris Westerhof – Durban, South Africa – #4 Singles
The Skinny: Tops on the team with 22 singles victories, only 19th player in school history to reach 20 wins…22-10 overall, 17-6 in dual matches, including 15-5 at number four…Won 14 of last 18 matches, including an 11-match winning streak…Tied for seventh in school history with 68 doubles wins and tenth with 113 combined wins….Lost 4-6, 2-6 to UK’s Tigran Martirosyan, ranked #53 at the time, at the ITA All-American…Older brother Michael Westerhof earned All-MAC honors at Ball State, playing on a pair of league championships teams.


Jonathas Sucupira – Sao Paulo, Brazil – #5 Singles
The Skinny: Spent most of season recovering from a shoulder injury sustained last season…Has played just over half of his matches at number five…All-ACC in 2004…7-11 in singles with a 3-6 mark at number five…Won three of first four matches when moved up from number five to No. 4 & 3…1-1 record when moved down the line-up.




Sam Chang – Young-Ming, Taiwan – #6 Singles
The Skinny: Has won seven of his last nine matches…fourth on the team with a 15-9 record…Played both five and six positions…4-2 record in three-set matches…Five ACC wins most by a freshman since Jeff Groslimond in 2003.





Chip Webb – Chattanooga, Tenn. – #6 Singles
The Skinny: Named All-ACC as Flight 6 singles champion with best winning percentage in the ACC at 5-1 (.833)…Also has highest percentages on the team for overall: 15-4 (.761) and dual: 8-2 (.750) matches…Has won eight of his last ten matches…Went 1-1 during the ACC Tournament…Ranked 12th in FSU history with 65 singles wins.




Groslimond/Westerhof – #1 Doubles
The Skinny: 24-6 on the year, tied for sixth on single-season list…Hold the single-season record with 26 wins in 2004…20-3 in dual matches…Most successful doubles team in school history with 68 victories…Ranked 10th in the country during the fall…7-1 ACC record, second most wins…8-1 record overall at number one….Beat Butler’s Brandon & Kevin Gill 8-5 at last year’s ITA All-American.


Cloer/Abougzir – #2 Doubles
The Skinny: Ranked 40th in the country…17-5 overall and dual match record, 7-2 in the league, the second most in the league…Have won nine of last 11 matches…7-0 mark at number two…4-3 versus ranked team and 2-0 in tiebreakers…Posted 9-8 (4) victory over No. 4 DeHeart/Jones of Illinois


Sucupira/Chang – #3 Doubles
The Skinny: Had 11-matching winning streak snapped by Virginia in the finals of the ACC Tournament..14-4 record at number three doubles…15-4 record overall…played one match at number two…6-1 record in the conference

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