TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 37 Florida State men’s tennis team (8-2) returns to the Scott Speicher Tennis Center for two nationally-televised matches this weekend as the Seminoles take on the No. 40 Pepperdine Waves (3-3) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and the Texas A&M Aggies (3-3) at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Both matches will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
The matches are the first two of five home matches that will be carried on ACC Network Extra- the April 7 match v. Notre Dame, the April 21 match v. No. 1 Virginia, and the April 23 match v. Virginia Tech will also be broadcast. The Seminoles have seven total matches that will be carried, as the March 10 match v. No. 10 Florida at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla. and the March 24 match at Louisville will also be broadcast, making the Seminoles one of the most visible college tennis programs in the nation.
“We’re really looking forward to the Friday night match under the lights on ESPN3,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We hope to get great crowd support. I think it will be a great atmosphere.”
The Seminoles are led by No. 84 junior Guy Iradukunda and No. 94 sophomore Aziz Dougaz, who each have four wins while occupying the top two spots in the lineup this season. As a doubles pair, Dougaz and Iradukunda lead the Noles with a perfect 6-0 record on court one.
Redshirt junior Lucas Poullain leads the Noles in singles wins with a 7-1 record, primarily playing on court three. Freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar boasts a perfect 6-0 record so far on court six.
This week, the ITA released the first computerized national rankings of the season. The Seminoles came in at No. 37 after receiving votes in the first top 25 poll of the season in January. The Waves came in at No. 40 after being previously unranked.
The Waves are the second nationally-ranked team the Seminoles have faced this season, the other meeting an extremely close 4-3 loss to No. 20 Mississippi State during ITA Kickoff Weekend. Florida State has won three straight matches heading into match with Pepperdine.
The Noles are 3-4 all-time against the Waves, the last meeting a 5-2 Waves win in 2013.
After taking on Pepperdine on Friday, Florida State will face the Texas A&M Aggies at 1:00 p.m on Sunday.
“On Sunday against Texas A&M, we are taking on one of the better teams in the country and one of the top teams in their conference,” Hultquist said. “One of the things we try to do is always play a competitive out of conference schedule against the best teams from around the country.”
The Noles are 2-8 all-time against the Aggies and are looking to avenge a close 4-3 loss at No. 3 Texas A&M last season.
Florida State has not played since February 11, where they swept both George Washington and College of Charleston at home in straight sets 4-0.
“In our time off, we’ve been able to get over some injuries and we’ve really gotten better,” Hultquist said. “We’ve been making progress ahead of a tough stretch of our schedule against nationally-ranked opponents.”
Fans can follow along and watch the matches from anywhere in the world here:
Live stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=168712
ACC Network Extra:http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2989990/pepperdine-vs-florida-state-m-tennis
Texas A&M Links
Live stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=168718
ACC Network Extra: http://www.espn.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2990007/texas-am-vs-florida-state-m-tennis
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