March 10, 2005
MONTGOMERY, Ala. –
In a field where all 16 teams are nationally ranked, the Florida State University men’s tennis team knew that it would be important to get off to a good start at the Blue Gray Classic. The No. 24 Seminoles did just that as they disposed of No. 64 Old Dominion 4-0 on Thursday (March 10).
With the victory, Florida State has won five of its last six matches to improve to 8-4 on the year. The Monarchs dropped to 5-7 and 6-0 all-time versus the Seminoles.
“I think it was important for us to win 4-0 today,” FSU net boss Dwayne Hultquist said. “By winning today we stay on the winner’s side of the bracket and we’ll have a chance to play some higher ranked opponents like Harvard and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi is going to be a challenge for us tomorrow.
“Our match was only 2:15 today, but some teams played for four hours so it was more like a medium day of practice. A short match on the first or second day doesn’t mean that much, but it will on the third and fourth days. We feel that we haven’t expended a lot of energy so we can really go after it the next few days.”
Right from the start the Seminoles took control as they won the doubles point for the 11th time in 12 matches. Prevailing in number two match was the No. 42 tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir as they posted an 8-4 win over Eidy Igarashi and Rodrigo Souza.
Wrapping up the first point of the day was Florida State’s 60th-ranked tandem of junior Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban South, Africa). They came through with an 8-5 upset of No. 47 Izak van der Merwe and Nate Grover to secure the doubles point.
“We struggled early on in doubles; we were on serve at number one and three, but down a break at number two,” Hultquist added. “It’s always important to get the doubles point, but especially in a format like this where you can use that momentum to close the match out quickly.”
Using that momentum, Florida State quickly closed out the match by winning the first three singles matches. Ranked 83rd in the country, Cloer rebounded from a pair of losses over the weekend to take down No. 25 van der Merwe 6-0, 6-2 at number one.
Westerhof won his seventh singles match in a row as he beat Adriano Mello 6-1, 6-1 at number four. Completing the team victory was freshman Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph at number six over Juliano Cirimbelli.
Unlike a normal dual match where all the singles matches are played out, as soon as one team reaches four points the team match is complete. Junior Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was serving for his match up 6-0, 6-5 when Chang won, while Groslimond and Abougzir both lost their first set 7-5.
“Mat played really well today and it was a big confidence booster for him,” Hultquist noted. “van der Merwe is a great player; he’s been an All-American, but Mat really came out today and took control of the match and never let up. He’s off to a good started and hopefully he can have a great week.”
Florida State is back in action on day two of the Blue Gray Classic when it takes on No. 44 Texas A&M – Corpus Christi at 11 a.m. on Friday (March 11).
No. 24 Florida State 4, No. 64 Old Dominion 0
No. 1: #83 Mat Cloer (FSU) d. #25 Izak van der Merwe (ODU) 6-0, 6-2
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU v. Henrique Cancado (ODU) 5-7 (Unfinished)
No. 3: Jeff Groslimond (FSU) v. Eidy Igarashi (ODU) 5-7 (Unfinished)
No. 4: Chris Westerhof (FSU) d. Adriano Mello (ODU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 5: Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) v. Rodrigo Souza (ODU) 6-0, 6-5 (Unfinished)
No. 6: Sam Chang (FSU) d. Juliano Cirimbelli (ODU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 6
No. 1: #60 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) d. #47 van der Merwe/Grover (ODU) 8-5
No. 2: #42 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) d. Igarashi/Souza (ODU) 8-4
No. 3: Sucupira/Chang (FSU) v. Cirimbelli/Cancado (ODU) 6-4 (Unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 2