CARY, N.C. – After a four hour battle against No. 2 seed North Carolina, Florida State men’s tennis fell short 4-3 to the Heels at the Cary Tennis Center in Cary, N.C. The Seminoles dropped two straight matches to give UNC the doubles point. Florida State then charged back to win three singles victories but unable to clinch the fourth.
The No. 2 seed Tar Heels took charge in doubles competition defeating the Seminoles in two straight pro sets. First match to complete was on court one where UNC’s Lenny Cullan and David Stone overpowered senior Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and junior Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) to win 8-5. Clinching the doubles point for North Carolina was position two’s Sebastian Guejman and Stefan Hardy where the broke at 7-6 to defeat senior Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and freshman Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) 8-6.
Florida State was quick to answer back to the doubles loss as Abougzir dominated over UNC’s Ben Carlotti 6-3, 6-1 while sophomore Chris Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) fought in position five to defeat North Carolina’s Guejman 6-3, 7-5. The Heels next took position six as Will Plyler defeated Mixson 6-4, 6-3 as Chang won two straight tiebreaks to overcome UNC’s Taylor Fogleman 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5). With the Seminoles leading 3-2, FSU’s sophomore Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) split sets to fall to the Heels’ Hardy 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
With the score now tied at 3-3, position two would be the deciding factor for the semifinals match. FSU’s Sucupira won the first set in a heated tiebreaker 7-6 (10) while North Carolina’s Chris Kearney fought back to win 7-5 in the second. Sucupira was then forced to take a medical timeout due to both of his legs cramping and ended up losing the third set 6-0. With the final singles victory on court two, No. 2 seed UNC clinched the overall match with a 4-3 decision over the No. 6 seed Florida State.
“Jon (Sucupira) is playing as good as anyone on our team,” Hultquist said. “He’s really played well and hasn’t lost in a long time. I think if he hadn’t cramped, he would’ve had a great chance to win the third set.”
“I thought we battled really hard and I’m really proud of how we competed,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I feel like we had a lot of things going against us with the guys being hurt and sick. I thought we did a great job at competing and put ourselves in position to win. It was a tough loss but I think if we can get the guys healthy we can still look for big things to come in the season.”
Seminoles men’s tennis team now head back to Tallahassee, Fla. to take a week off and prepare for final exams at Florida State. NCAA Regional host selection will take place on Tuesday, May 1 on ESPN News at 2:30 p.m. With two victories in the ACC Championships, Florida State looks to earn a regional hosting position.
“I would hope the win over Duke yesterday is enough for us to host,” Hultquist said. “We’ve beaten Wake Forest, Duke and Florida who are all going to be top 16 seeds or in the running for it. I feel like we are in the range to be a top 16 team, whether it’s 14, 15 or 16 and we should host.”
No. 6 Seed Florida State 3, No. 2 North Carolina 4
1. Lenny Gullan/David Stone (UNC) def. #34 Chang/Sucupira (FSU) 8-5
2. Guejman/Hardy (UNC) def. Abougzir/Mixson (FSU) 8-6
3. Sykut/Andrew Bailey (FSU) vs. Kearney/Fogleman (UNC) 6-5 DNF
Order of Finish: 1, 2*
1. #67 Ytai Abougzir (FSU) def. #64 Ben Carlotti (UNC) 6-3, 6-1
2. #125 Chris Kearney (UNC) def. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 6-7 (10), 7-5, 6-0
3. Stefan Hardy (UNC) def. Maciek Sykut (FSU) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
4. Sam Chang (FSU) def. Taylor Fogleman (UNC) 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5)
5. Chris Cloer (FSU) def. Sebastian Guejman (UNC) 6-3, 7-5
6. Will Plyler (UNC) def. Bradley Mixson (FSU) 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 6, 4, 3, 2*