March 14, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 30 Florida State men’s tennis team (11-3, 3-0) will be busy the next 11 days taking on five opponents all ranked by the ITA. On Thursday, March 15, the Seminoles will take on No. 33 UNC-Wilmington at 4 p.m. and then will take on ACC opponent No. 71 Clemson at noon on Saturday, March 17.
Florida State will close out this week with a match against No. 31 Oklahoma at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. The following weekend No. 74 Wake Forest and No. 28 NC State travel to Tallahassee. All matches will be played at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center free of charge.
“It is a lot of tennis,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It’s five matches in ten days. I think towards the end of the season it’s important to be able to play back-to-back days or multiple matches to get into a good rhythm before you go into the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament where you will play a couple days in a row.”
This is the first time Florida State will face UNC-Wilmington. The Seminoles and Sooners have met twice, but this will be the first time since 1989 the teams have faced off. The record between the two is tied at 1-1.
The Tigers lead the series against the Seminoles 18-17. The two teams first met in 1962 but Florida State has won the last five matches. Junior Anderson Reed has a 4-1 combined singles and doubles record while junior Jordan Kelly-Houston is 3-0 against Clemson.
The Seminoles are playing strong doubles having won 12 doubles points out of 14 this season. Junior Andres Bucaro and freshman Benjamin Lock have a 12-1 record while Reed and freshman Dominic Cotrone are 10-3.
“We’ve always taken a lot of pride in our doubles,” continued Hultquist. “I think we coach doubles well and the guys this year really bought in, we have two teams with outstanding records and a team that just came off a big win. It’s always great to get off to a 1-0 lead.”
In singles play, Bucaro and Reed are both undefeated at 11-0 and 8-0, respectively. Sophomore Blake Davis has reached the ten win mark and is 10-4 this spring. Senior Jason Zafiros is next on the team with a 9-2 record while Kelly-Houston and freshman Cristian Gonzalez Mendez each have eight wins. Lock and Cotrone are both having successful freshmen campaigns with records of 5-2 and 3-0.
“We’ve been successful at home this year, we haven’t loss,” continued Hultquist. “If we can continue to have that, I think then it builds confidence to the next match we’ll play. I view it as an important home stand with three ACC opponents and two top non-conference teams.”
Each team brings ranked players to Tallahassee. Rafael Aita of UNC-Wilmington is ranked No. 77 in singles while Chris Cooprider and Kosta Blank of the Seahawks are No. 70 in doubles.
No. 49 Yannick Maden represents Clemson in singles while he and Zachary Rigsby are No. 53 in doubles.
In singles play, Oklahoma has No. 15 Costin Paval, No. 67 Peerakit Siributwong, No. 78 Dane Webb and No. 103 Tsvetan Mihov along with Paval and Webb ranked No. 18 and Mihov and Siributwong No. 68 in doubles.
All matches are played at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center unless weather forces the matches to be played at the Indoor Tennis Facility located next to the Seminole Golf Course. Fans can check the fan weather hotline at (850) 645-GAME. Live stat links are listed below.
UNC-Wilmington – http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/fsu-m-tennis-live-updates-fsuuncw.html
Clemson – http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/fsu-m-tennis-live-updates-fsuclemson.html
Oklahoma – http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/fsu-m-tennis-live-updates-fsuou.html