March 11, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 16 Florida State men’s tennis team will look to solidify its position in the ITA rankings as they take on No. 12 Pepperdine Thursday at 6:00 p.m., EST, in Malibu, Calif.
“We know there are NCAA implications because they are ranked No. 12 and one of the teams that could host a regional,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “A win would put us in good position to be one of the 16 teams that host.”
If the Seminoles (12-5, 3-0) hope to earn one of those top 16 seeds they need to continue the play that has seen them win five out of their last six matches including two in a row on the road. In FSU’s last match, the team defeated No. 58 Georgia Tech 5-2 in Atlanta, Ga., on the strength of five singles wins. The Wave (12-5) also enter Thursday’s match on a winning streak with five straight victories including a 6-1 win against William & Mary on Monday.
“I think Pepperdine is a lot like our team,” Hultquist said. “They have two highly ranked guys as we do and they play good doubles. The teams couldn’t be matched more evenly and we are expecting a hard fought match.”
Last season the Garnet and Gold defeated Pepperdine in a dramatic 4-3 match at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Trailing 3-2, junior Jean-Yves Aubone and sophomore Clint Bowles both won third set tiebreakers against highly ranked opponents to secure the win. Aubone defeated No. 16 Andre Begemann 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) to tie the score at three and then Bowles clinched the match with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-6(2) win over No. 22 Bassam Beidas.
“I think that last year was a big match,” Hultquist said. “Last year we won 4-3 and the year before we lost 4-3 out in California so we know that it will be a tight match.”
For live scoring and a match recap visit www.seminoles.com.