Jan. 16, 2005
HONOLULU, Hawai’i –
Last season one of the biggest problems for the Florida State University men’s tennis team was its lack of depth. An injury anywhere in the line-up typically put the team into a tailspin. Fast forward to 2005 and the latest version, ranked 41st by the ITA, of Dwayne Hultquist’s team is as deep as most in the country and the Tribe showed that on Saturday (January 15) in its 5-2 win over No. 49 Oregon
Florida State remains unbeaten in the New Year as it ups its record to 2-0. The loss evens the Ducks record to 1-1. The win was the Seminoles first over a PAC-10 school after three unsuccessful tries against Arizona State and Arizona.
The biggest blow the Tribe’s line-up in 2004 was the shoulder injury to All-ACC selection Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Only the second freshman in school history to earn all-league honors, he missed three of the last four dual matches of the season, which, coincidentally, were all loses.
Still not 100 percent, the sophomore was forced into the line-up against Oregon after senior Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was injured following Thursday’s match with Hawai’i. Staying true to All-ACC form, Sucupira won two big matches for the Seminoles.
Playing with partner Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan), the two teamed up to beat the Ducks’ Manuel Kost and Vlad Pino Guy 8-5 to clinch the doubles point. Sucupira secured the team victory when he produced a 7-6 (4), 6-4 triumph against Pino at number six singles.
“If I was going to give a game ball out for this match it would have to go to Jonathas,” Hultquist said. “He hasn’t played a full set of singles all year and he’s not in great shape because of the injury, but he played tough today and clinched the key win for us.”
FSU stayed perfect in doubles matches this year by taking all three matches against the Ducks. Getting the Seminoles first win of the afternoon was the 32nd-ranked tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa). They took care of Sven Swinnen and Markus Schiller 8-6 at No. 2. Pulling out a 9-7 win at No. 1 singles over Thomas Bieri and Thomas Schiller was the FSU tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir.
Cloer’s win in doubles tied him with Rodrigo Laub for ninth all-time with 51 doubles victories. For Westerhof it was his 50th doubles triumph at FSU.
Oregon made the match interesting when it won at both number one and two singles. Cloer, unranked because he did not play in the fall, dropped a tough 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 decision to #16 Swinnen. Abougzir also loss in three sets, falling 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to No. 57 Kost.
Florida State flexed its muscle, showing the talent it has lower down in the line-up by taking the last four singles matches to clinch the team victory. Groslimond cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Chad Wilson at No. 3, while Westerhof produced at No. 4, winning 6-4, 6-3 against Bieri. Following Sucupira’s clinching victory, Chang rallied to win his match at number five, beating Schiller 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“This was a good win for us against a strong Oregon team,” Hultquist noted. “I think we really showed our depth today, but at the same time showed how hard our guys fought. They played hard every set and showed great intensity out there.”
The Seminoles return to Tallahassee for their lone home match in the month of January next week. Following the third-annual First Serve banquet on Friday, Florida State will play host to Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, at the Scott Speicher Center.
1. (16) Sven Swinnen (UO) def. Mat Cloer (FSU) 7-5, 6-7, 6-4
2. (57) Manuel Kost (UO) def. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. (91) Jeff Groslimond (FSU) def. Chad Wilson (UO) 6-2, 6-4
4. Chris Westerhof (FSU) def. Thomas Bieri (UO) 6-4, 6-3
5. Sam Chang (FSU) def. Markus Schiller (UO) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
6. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Vlad Pino (UO) 7-6, 6-4
1. Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) def. Bieri/Schiller (UO) 9-7
2. (32) Gorslimond/Westerhof (FSU) def. Swinnen/Spencer (UO) 8-6
3. Chang/Sucupira (FSU) def. Kost/Pino (UO) 8-4