March 1, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. –
Of all the fond memories former Florida State University men’s tennis player and coach Paul Scarpa has of Tallahassee, Tuesday’s (March 1) match won’t be one of them. The active leader in career coaching victories at 717, Scarpa’s current team, Furman University, couldn’t beat his alma mater as the Seminoles prevailed 7-0.
Even before the match, the Seminoles improved their national ranking, moving up to No. 30 in the current ITA poll. With the victory, Florida State improved to 6-3 overall, while Furman dropped to 2-8.
Florida State continued its strong doubles play, opening up the match by taking the first point. In nine matches this season, the Seminoles have won the doubles point eight times. Getting Florida State’s first triumph of the afternoon was the tandem of Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The number three team beat Furman’s Scott Kahler and Kevin Lackey 8-4.
Securing the first point of the afternoon was the No.57 team in America, Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa). They took their number two bout 8-3 over Ben Pauluhn and Greg Marrschalk. Furman’s lone win of the afternoon was an upset at number one as Allen Simmons and Andy Sobczyk beat No. 28 Mat Cloer (Brevard,N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) 8-6 at number one.
“I think we’re playing good doubles, FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I think we won convincingly and number two and number three. I would have liked to have won number one doubles too. Furman has beaten Alabama and Vanderbilt in doubles this year and had match point against Florida, so they’ve got a good doubles team and obviously that’s the strength of their team.”
After a first set filled with unforced errors that he lost 6-0, Sucupira had an improbable comeback in his number five bout against Brennen Phippen. The sophomore All-ACC selection rallied to win 12-straight games on his way to a 0-6, 6-0, 6-0 win to give FSU a 2-0 lead.
Following close behind was the rookie Chang as he pulled through for his third victory in a row. He won the first eight games of his number six match with Marschalk before going on to win 6-0, 6-3. Wrapping up the team victory with his team-best 13th singles win of the year was No. 89 Groslimond. The junior picked up his eighth dual match triumph by beating Stephen Nash 6-3, 6-3. Combined with his doubles win, Groslimond now has 106 combined victories, tying him with Alex Rucker for ninth all-time.
“The strength of our line-up down low really showed today,”
Hultquist noted. “If Jonathas is healthy, he’s playing at the top of our line-up. Sam’s playing like he should be right now. The last three matches he’s really turned it on. I’m really happy right now as far as they way we’re playing down lower in our line-up.”
Completing his match just minutes after Groslimond wrapped up the team victory, Abougzir pulled through for his third singles victory in a row. He took down the Paladins’ Sobczyk 6-3, 6-3. The newest member of the ITA top 20 singles ranking needed a tiebreaker to come up with his victory. No. 17 Cloer defeated Pauluhn 6-4, 7-6 (1) for his 74th career victory, tying him with Joey Rive for sixth in school history. Completing the sweep was Westerhof at number five. After winning the first set in a 9-7 tiebreaker, he came back to win six of the last seven games for a 7-6 (7), 6-1 over Sobczyk.
Florida State opens conference play this weekend when it travels to the Tar Heel State for a pair of matches. First up is an 11 a.m. match with No. 59 North Carolina State on Saturday, followed by No. 24 North Carolina at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
No. 30 Florida State 7, Furman 0
No. 1: #17 Mat Cloer (FSU) d. Ben Pauluhn (FU) 6-4, 7-6 (1)
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU) d. Allen Simmons (FU) 6-3, 6-3
No. 3: #89 Jeff Groslimond (FSU) d. Stephen Nash (FU) 6-3, 6-3
No. 4: Chris Westerhof (FSU) Andy Sobczyk (FU) 7-6 (7), 6-1
No. 5: Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Brennan Phippen (FU) 0-6, 6-0, 6-0
No. 6: Sam Chang (FSU) d. Greg Maarschalk (FU) 6-0, 6-3
Order of Finish: 5, 6, 3, 2, 1, 4
No. 1: Simmons/Sobczyk (FU) d. #28 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) 8-6
No. 2: #57 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) d. Pauluhn/Maarschalk 8-3
No. 3: Chang/Sucupira (FSU) d. Kahler/Lackey (FSU) 8-4
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1