TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 11 Florida State men’s tennis team (18-1) defeated Drake (12-10) 6-1 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center for the 10th home win of the season.
The Noles got out to a slow start, losing only their fourth doubles point of the season. Redshirt seniors Lucas Poullain and Jose Gracia were the first Noles to go down as they lost on court one 6-2. The newly put together pair of junior Aziz Dougaz and sophomore Alex Knaff tied doubles up with their first win as a pair on court two, 6-4. It came down to court three as seniors Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst were tied 5-5. The twins could not hold on as Drake captured the doubles point and a 1-0 lead.
“I thought Drake played really good doubles today,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “They had very good fundamentals. We had a hard time breaking their serves. We only broke them once at one and we didn’t break them at all at three. They served and volleyed and pushed towards the next very well. You can tell they are coached well in doing that.”
That point turned out to be the Bulldog’s only point as Florida State went on to sweep singles, losing only two sets. Freshman Chase Wood made quick work of his opponent on court six, 6-2, 6-2, to tie it up at one. Gracia gave the Noles their first lead of the match with a 6-4, 6-2 win on court four to improve to 6-2 this spring.
Poullain and Knaff were the next two to finish. Lucas took the first set with ease 6-2 but battled back in the second down 6-5 to force a tiebreak. Poullain turned it on in the tiebreaker taking it 7-1 and giving the Noles a 3-1 advantage. Almost simultaneously Knaff was finishing on the court to the left. After losing the first set 6-1 he turned his game around to take the next two sets 6-3 each to clinch his second match of the season.
With the match already clinched, Dougaz and Senior Guy Iradukunda continued to battle on courts one and two. Dougaz had to fight on court one as he won both his sets in tiebreakers. Guy fought to take the first set in a tiebreaker, but could not take the second as he went on to win in three sets.
“A key part of this match was that we won three first sets, and two firsts went to tiebreakers,” said Hultquist. “By Aziz and Guy winning the first set tiebreakers, I thought that swung the match in our favor. Drake played very hard. We only gave up two sets, but a lot of the sets were close. We won four tiebreakers and they only won one. Winning those was really the difference in the match.”
The Seminole will be back on the court Sunday at 12 p.m. as they host their first ACC opponent in Georgia Tech. If there is inclement weather the match will be played indoors not before 1:30 p.m.
Records to Watch:
Tennis Match Results
Drake vs Florida State University
Mar 16, 2018 at Tallahassee, Fla.
(Scott Speicher Tennis Center)
#19 Florida State University 6, Drake 1
1. #87 Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. Vinny Gillespie (DU) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6)
2. #16 Guy Iradukunda (FS) def. Tom Hands (DU) 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (4-7), 10-6
3. #56 Lucas Poullain (FS) def. Barny Thorold (DU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1)
4. Jose Gracia (FS) def. Ben Clark (DU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Alex Knaff (FS) def. Finley Hall (DU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Chase Wood (FS) def. Ben Wood (DU) 6-2, 6-2
1. Vinny Gillespie/Barny Thorold (DU) def. #18 Jose Gracia/Lucas Poullain (FS) 6-2
2. Aziz Dougaz/Alex Knaff (FS) def. Ben Wood/Finley Hall (DU) 6-4
3. Tom Hands/Ben Clark (DU) def. #44 Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,3,5,1,2)
To keep up with the Seminoles, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram @FSU_MTennis).