TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 36 Florida State men’s tennis team (9-4, 0-1 ACC) heads to the newly-constructed USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla. to take on the archrival No. 15 Florida Gators (8-5, 1-1 SEC) on Friday at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN3.
“I do expect a huge crowd- a lot of Gator fans and a lot of Seminole fans,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I think the USTA has gone all out for it to really try and make this a special event.”
Over two thousand fans are expected to be in attendance, with over one thousand seats already reserved ahead of time at the USTA National Campus. Due to the proximity to both the greater Orlando area and a relatively short distance from each school, the crowd is expected to be the largest yet at a College MatchDay event. Large crowds of over one thousand have already showed up for matches involving out-of-state schools.
“I think the hype is even greater because of all the alumni in the area, and we know a lot of our tennis-playing alumni in that area too,” Hultquist said. “I think it’s great for the game of college tennis and it’s good for the both of the schools to have such enthusiasm for a college tennis match.”
This will be the third time that Florida State has participated in the USTA’s College MatchDay, playing Oklahoma at the FSU Indoor Tennis Facility in 2014 and earning a 5-2 win over Georgia Tech in 2016.
“We’re expecting a lot of noise,” junior Terrance Whitehurst said. “We’ve had some pretty big crowds here so we kind of know what to expect, but it will probably be nothing like we’ve faced before. It will be a battle of adjusting to the noise. Hopefully most of the fans are on our side.”
The Seminoles will have their work cut out for them in front of the huge crowd and against the No. 15 team in the nation.
“I expect a lot of fight- they play tough and they’ve got a lot of talented players,” Whitehurst said. “We have to match them in every aspect- you have to be louder, more energy, you have to be strong as a team. They don’t have any easy outs and all seven points are going to be a battle, so we’re going in expecting that.”
The event is nearly sold out, but fans can still reserve a free ticket here: http://collegematchday2017.com/
Fans can also watch the match live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app here:
and with live stats here:
About USTA College MatchDay:
College MatchDay is a showcase series of “bowl games” for college tennis, launched by the USTA to spotlight many of the country’s top programs and players. College MatchDay’s goal is to provide more fans the opportunity to see the excitement of college tennis team matches, both in person and at home.
About USTA National Campus:
The USTA National Campus is one of the largest tennis facilities in the world. It is located on 64 acres and divided into dedicated areas that will focus on the complete tennis pathway.
The cutting-edge center features a total of 100 courts (32 Plexicusion hard courts, 32 Har-Tru green clay courts, 16 Sport Courts, 8 DecoTurf acrylic cushion courts, 6 European Terre Davis red clay and 6 ReBound Ace indoor courts) along with two stadium courts.
2017 USTA College Matchday Schedule
Match 1: Saturday, Jan. 21 – (M) Alabama vs. Michigan
Match 2: Friday, Feb. 3 – (W) UNC vs. Texas Tech
Match 3: Friday, Feb. 17 – (W) Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
Match 4: Wednesday, March 8 – (M) UCF vs. Penn State
Match 5: Friday, March 10 – (M) Florida vs. Florida State
Match 6: Tuesday, March 14 – (W) Ohio State vs Florida
College MatchDay 2017 on the road:
Friday, March 17, 4 p.m. ET – (W) UNC at Miami
Thursday, March 23, 5 p.m. ET – (M) LSU at UGA
Friday, March 31, 4 p.m. ET – (M) UVA at Wake Forest
For more information on Florida State tennis, check out: