Feb. 11, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Despite losing its last three matches, the Florida State men’s tennis team had been playing well as all three defeats came against ranked teams and two in top five. But since close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, the No. 42 Seminoles were eager to get a win. Their three-match slide ended with a strong 6-1 victory over No. 51 South Florida on Friday (February 11).
With the triumph, Florida State improved to 4-3 on the year, while the Bulls dropped 1-2.
Florida State got on the scoreboard first as doubles continued to be the strong point of the team. The Seminoles won the doubles point for the sixth time in seven matches by sweeping all three contests. Getting the first win was the tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) as they picked up two breaks on their way to an 8-2 win over Uli Kiendl and Marc Jager at number one.
Wrapping up the doubles point was the 32nd-ranked FSU tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa). The junior duo won its bout at number two 8-3 over Frederico Barton and Dillon Brozyna. Completing the sweep was the Seminoles’ number three team of Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) and Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) as they beat Juan Barragan and Juan Carlos Gomez 8-4.
“I thought we set the tone early in doubles,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “After about ten minutes it looked like we were going to handle them in doubles. We’ve worked real hard in doubles and I feel that doubles is a strength for us. I think that we should do well in doubles every time out.”
Within the first 15 minutes of singles play, the Seminoles got a break when Jager twisted his ankle going for a ball and had to retire, giving Groslimond the victory. Snapping a four-match losing streak in singles, Abougzir played one of his best matches of the year, beating Barton 6-1, 6-1 at number two.
The Bulls got their loan point of the afternoon when Gomez won the last three games of each set in the number six match to beat Webb 6-3, 6-3. Ending any hopes of an USF comeback, Westerhof cruised in the first set 6-1 then picked up the only break in the second for a 6-1, 6-4 triumph at number four against Brozyna.
With the victory secure, Florida State could have rolled over in its last two matches, but Cloer and Chang bounced back from first-set losses to conclude the convincing win.
After losing the first set 6-2 at number one, Cloer was dominate against Kiendl, winning 12 of the last 15 games for the 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory. Chang won only one game in the first set of his number two match, but reversed the trend in the final two stanzas for the 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Gomez.
“I challenged the team the other day that we hadn’t won enough matches when we had lost the first set,” Hultquist added. “Mat and Sam both came back to win and part of what it takes to be a great team is to adjust in the second set and both of them did that. Sam came on strong and eliminated his unforced errors and finished well and Mat started coming in more and that changed the complexity of his match.”
Coming into Friday’s, match Florida State only had a 5-14 singles record during the dual match when it dropped the first set.
The Seminoles continue their four-match home stand on Saturday, February 19, when they play host to No. 32 Rice in a 12 p.m. bout at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
#42 Florida State 6, #51 South Florida 1
No. 1: Mat Cloer (FSU) d. Uli Kiendl (USF) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU) d. Frederico Barton (USF) 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: #91 Jeff Groslimond d. (FSU) Marc Jager (USF) 1-1 (retire)
No. 4: Chris Westerhof (FSU) d. Dillon Brozyna (USF) 6-1, 6-4
No. 5: Sam Chang (FSU) d. Juan Carlos Gomez (USF) 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
No. 6: Juan Barragan (USF) d. Chip Webb (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 2, 6, 4, 5, 1
No. 1: Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) d. Kiendl/Jager (USF) 8-2
No. 2: #32 Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) d. Barton/Brozyna (USF) 8-3
No. 3: Chang/Webb (FSU) d. Barragan/Gomez (USF) 8-4
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3