Feb. 8, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla.- The No. 14 Florida State men’s tennis team will not be expecting a warm welcome when they step on the courts in Gainesville, Fla. against No. 19 Florida on Saturday, February 9 at 1:00 p.m.. What once was a one-sided contest has turned into a hotly contested rivalry.
“I think when we first got here, we were getting pounded. They had been the established program and they beat us 7-0 my first year,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Our program is one that’s been climbing and now we’ve had really great matches against them the last three or four years.”
In the last five matches between the two schools, four of them have ended 4-3. Last season the Seminoles and Gators squared-off twice, with Florida State winning the first match 4-3 in the regular season and Florida taking the second contest by the same score in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s always a big match when we play them,” Hultquist said. “Last year we split with them, one that we won and won that we lost. It’s always a big and intense match. I think it’s big for our guys because a lot of them are from Florida and it means a lot to them to play an in-state rival.”
Florida will be the highest ranked team the Seminoles have faced this season and playing the Gators on the road, will help prepare FSU for tough environments they will face throughout the season.
“It’s always tougher to win on the road,” Hultquist said. “It will be very similar to playing road matches like when we play at Virginia or Miami. It is going to be the first one with a big crowd and we look forward to being under the microscope and having a lot of people watching us.”
For match results visit www.seminoles.com.