April 25, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla.- The No. 13 Florida State men’s tennis team hosts No. 31 Notre Dame on Saturday, April 26, at 1:00 p.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in the teams’ last regular season home match. With a win, the Seminoles (19-5, 10-3) will be one of the top 16 teams in the FILA/ITA rankings which guarantees a bid to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. A loss will leave FSU’s fate up to the ITA computers.
“If we win we’ll get a number one seed and a little easier draw,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “If we don’t, we might be a two seed and have to travel somewhere. We’d like to put ourselves in position to play here.”
Florida State has lost to Notre Dame (15-10, 4-0) four consecutive times including a 5-2 road loss to the Fighting Irish last season. The last time the Seminoles defeated Notre Dame was in 2003, a 4-3 decision in South Bend, Ind.
“They are the Big East champions and are always a competitive team that fights hard,” Hultquist said. “They’ve beaten us four years in a row and this is a big match. Anytime you lose your previous match you want to make sure you can get things going on a positive note.”
The Garnet and Gold will be led by sophomore Jean-Yves Aubone who rose to No. 15 in the ITA rankings after upsetting No. 3 Daniel Vallverdu of Miami at the 2008 ACC Championships. Aubone’s ranking matches volunteer assistant coach Mat Cloer’s ranking in the Fall of 2004 to tie the pair of Seminoles for the highest ranking in FSU history.
“He’ really had an outstanding year,” Hultquist said. “I’m really proud of the way he won his match against Miami. That puts him in pretty elite company and it shows just how good of a player he is and how he’s been consistent all year long.”