Jan. 28, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 11th-ranked Florida State men’s tennis team (1-1) showed its youth and inexperience today, falling 4-3 to No. 47 Louisiana-Lafayette (3-0) Saturday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. The loss snapped a nine-match home win streak for the Seminoles that dated back to Feb. 6, 2005.
“The opponent played really well today so I have to give credit to Louisiana-Lafayette,” said Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “We definitely showed our inexperience out there today. We have just five years of collegiate experience competing for us and it showed. We knew they were a strong team coming in so we didn’t overlook them in anyway. We were just inconsistent and failed to win the close ones.”
The Seminoles got off to a strong start by taking the doubles point for a 1-0 advantage. The team of junior Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and senior Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) defeated Evghenii Corduneanu and Amanjot Singh, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. The No. 63-ranked freshmen duo of Andrew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) upended Matthieu Turong and Dusan Tabak at No. 2 doubles (8-3) for the point. In the third doubles position, the Ragin Cajuns’ Shaun Ellison and Robin Ley defeated sophomore Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) and freshman Chris Cloer (Brevard, N.C.), 8-7.
In singles action, Florida State quickly grabbed two points at the No. 2 and 3 positions to take a 3-0 lead. Westerhof earned a decisive 6-1, 6-2 victory over Tabak and Chang cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 win against Singh. The Ragin Cajuns answered back in the middle of the lineup and took wins at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. Sykut fell 6-4, 6-4 to Ley at the fourth position and Bailey dropped a 6-2, 7-5 decision at No. 6 singles. Cloer, who forced a third set after rallying for a 7-6 (9-7) win in the second set, lost 6-4 to Ellison.
With the score even at 3-3, all eyes focused on Court 1 as Abougzir and Couruneanu went into a three-set battle. After losing 7-6 (7-3) in the first set, Abougzir recorded a 6-4 win in the second. The two players wrestled it out in the final showdown but Couruneanu eventually clinched the 6-4 victory.
“This was a valuable learning experience for us,” commented Hultquist. “We won the doubles with relative ease and then Chris (Westerhof) and Sam had pretty decisive wins in singles. But the truth is we didn’t win the close ones and that is something we have to improve on significantly.”
The Seminoles hit the road for a contest against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Miami on Monday at 4:30 pm. The Hurricanes enter the match with a national ranking of No. 39.