HONOLULU, Hawai’i – The No. 21 ranked Florida State men’s tennis team (3-0) continued their hot start by defeating No. 24 Texas Tech (1-1) 6-1, to earn head coach Dwayne Hultquist his 33rd career victory against a Top-25.
“I thought this match was good early season win,” said Hultquist. “For us to get a Top-25 before most people have even played is great. To get off to a 3-0 start is great as well.”
The Seminoles earned their third doubles point of the season after taking the matches on courts one and three. Seniors, Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst got things started for the Noles in doubles as they swiftly took down their opponent 6-3. On court one redshirt seniors Jose Gracia and Lucas Poullain battled against Texas Tech’s No. 29 ranked doubles team of Jackson Cobb and Alex Sendegeya. After being tied 2-2 Gracia and Poullain fell behind before tying it back up at five all. The Seminole duo pulled ahead and earned a 7-5 win on court one to clinch the doubles point.
Senior Guy Iradukunda earned the Noles first singles point after defeating Artem Kapshuk 7-5, 6-3 on court three. Poullain quickly followed as he made quick work of Connor Curry on court two, 6-3, 6-1.
In the third set on the last four courts, the Seminoles fought. Gracia fell in two sets, 7-6 (4), 6-4, leaving the Seminoles a 3-1 lead. Not too long after junior Aziz Dougaz clinched the match for the Garnet and Gold with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory on court one.
“It was a good day for us as a team,” said Dougaz. “I didn’t play my best tennis on this trip. We were able to fight has a team and give everything we had even on the bad days and that is the mentality of the team and what will allow us to go far this season. I think it is important to say even when we are not playing our best tennis we are mentally there and that is what is going to allow us to go far this season.”
Sophomore Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar and freshman Chase Wood finished things up for the Noles giving them a 6-1 victory over the Red Raiders. Wood fought down a 5-3 deficit to win his match 7-5.
“I think the one thing that showed today was how much depth we have,” said Hultquist. “We played without Alex Knaff and were able to get some good wins on courts five and six with Chase and Rana. We have a lot of depth up top without Top-3 guys being high ranked players. We got straight set wins from Lucas and Guy to put us in control and then Aziz did a nice job of clinching after dropping the first set.”
The Noles are back at home next weekend as they host the Florida State Spring Invitational Saturday and Sunday.
To keep up with the Seminoles, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram (@FSU_MTennis).
#21 Florida State University 0, #24 Texas Tech 0
UH Tennis Complex (Honolulu, O‘ahu)
January 8, 2018
1. Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. Alex Sendegeya (TT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
2. Lucas Poullain (FS) def. Connor Curry (TT) 6-3, 6-1
3. Guy Iradukunda (FS) def. Artem Kapshuk (TT) 7-5, 6-2
4. Ilgiz Valiev (TT) def, Jose Gracia (FS) 7-6 (4), 6-4
5. Chase Wood (FS) def. Matheus Leite (TT) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
6. Jackson Cobb (TT) vs. Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) def. 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
1. #8 Jose Gracia/Lucas Poullain (FS) def. #29 Jackson Cobb/Alex Sendegeya (TT) 7-5
2. Guy Iradukunda/Aziz Dougaz (FS) def. Connor Curry/Matheus Leite (TT) no result
3. Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) def. Artem Kapshuk/Ilgiz Valiev (TT) 6-3
Doubles: 3, 1
Singles: 3, 2, 4, 1*, 6, 5