April 8, 2005
BLACKSBURG, Va. –
Having achieved the school’s highest ranking in a decade, Florida State University men’s tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist had to be concerned about his team feeling overconfident going into a tough weekend match at Virginia Tech. Instead, the No. 21 Seminoles proved their merit by taking a 5-2 decision over the No. 45 Hokies on Friday (April 8).
The Tribe claimed the first meeting between the two schools since they were both members of the Metro Conference in 1989 to improve to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The 14 wins are the second-most during Hultquist’s six-year tenure. Virginia Tech dropped to 4-3 in the league and 13-6 for the year.
“We’re at the point now where everyone in the ACC is good, “Hultquist said. “Anytime you play on the road in this conference it’s going to be tough and Virginia Tech is no exception. We’re ambitious and want to climb into the top 16 so we can host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.”
Using the best doubles line-up in the country, Florida State wasted no time in scoring the first point. The No. 31 tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) got FSU on the board with its 8-3 win over Angel Diankov and Brent Wilkins. Securing the first point was Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) as they took down Arvid Puranen and Albert Larregola 8-5. Completing the sweep was No. 44 Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) who beat Stephane Rod and Alexei Sergeev 8-4.
The hottest player on the team the last month has been Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) The senior won his six matches in a row and stayed undefeated in the league by beating Adel Abbas 6-1, 6-2 at number six. Fellow senior Cloer, rated 32nd in the country, scored his second ranked victory in a row as he took down No. 79 Rodd 6-4, 6-1.
“You always have to have a combination of things happen in order to win,” Hultquist added. “Chip won pretty easily, you like to see someone play well in their senior year, and we won doubles. Mat’s first set was tight, but then he won in the second. If Jonathas doesn’t win the tiebreaker in the second set the match is a lot tighter and now you’re not so sure about the outcome.”
Providing the decisive point for the Seminole was Sucupira as he won his second bout in a row, taking down Diankov 6-4, 7-6 (5) at number four. Virginia Tech didn’t pick up its first point until the match was over when Larregola won a close match over Westerhof, 6-3, 7-5, at number three. Putting the finishing touches on the win was Groslimond as he beat Sergeev 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at number five. The Hokies got the last point when No. 111 Puranen beat Abougzir at number two, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.
“Jonathas is healthy, he’s not at 100 percent, but it’s the healthiest he’s been all year,” Hultquist noted. “He’s the kind of guy who needs to practice a lot in order to play well and the last couple of weeks are the first he’s gone the whole time without missing a practice.
Florida State returns home to the Scott Speicher Tennis Center to take on No. 34 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. on Sunday (April 10) on Armed Services Appreciation Day.
No. 21 Florida State 5, No. 45 Virginia Tech 2
No. 1: #32 Mat Cloer (FSU) def. #79 Stephane Rod (VT) 6-4, 6-1
No. 2: #111 Arvid Puranen (VT) def. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
No. 3: Albert Larregola (VT) def. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 6-3, 7-5
No. 4: Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Angel Diankov (VT) 6-4, 7-6 (5)
No. 5: Jeff Groslimond (FSU) def. Alexei Sergeev (VT) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
No. 6: Chip Webb (FSU) def. Adel Abbas (VT) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 4, 3, 5, 2
No. 1: #44 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) def. Rod/Sergeev (VT) 8-4
No. 2: #31 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) def. Diankov/Brent Wilkins (VT) 8-3
No. 3: Sucupira/Chang (FSU) def. Puranen/Larregola (VT) 8-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1