March 15, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
With the toughest weekend of competition in school history just five days ahead, Florida State University men’s tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist wants his team to be playing well going into the matches. On the other hand, he also didn’t want them looking ahead. The Seminoles accomplished both of those goals as they beat North Carolina State 4-3 on Monday (March 15).
The victory improves No. 45 Florida State’s record to 9-5 overall with a 2-1 ledger in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tribe also stays a perfect 13-0 versus the Wolfpack since joining the loop in 1992. North Carolina State falls to 1-2 in the league while dipping to 5-9 on the year.
“I warned the guys about overlooking NC State and told them that they were going to come ready to play,” Hultquist said. “I thought they (NC State) did a great job of competing even though they were down five first sets. They came back and won two of them in three. Our guys got a good start, but they may have let up just a little bit.”
The Seminoles first point of the day came courteous of a sweep in doubles. Opening up the match was the No. 2 team of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as they cruised to an 8-2 win over Val Banada and Dennis Myers. Then it was Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) and Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) collecting their 22nd win of the year-moving them into a tie for seventh on the single-season charts-as they beat Will Shaw and Jon Davis 9-7. Down 6-3, the tandem of Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Joe Bassett (Monticello, Fla.) won the last five games to beat Conor Taylor and Andre Iriarte 8-6.
“The thing I was most pleased with was Chip and Joe coming back from 6-3 down to win at number three doubles,” Hultquist added. “I thought that gave us a lift. Jonathas is really on a roll right now and he also gives us a lift by getting of the court so quickly.”
Over the last three weeks, no Seminole is playing better singles than Sucupira. The junior won his seventh match in a row as he beat Shaw 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2. The Wolfpack picked up their first point of the afternoon at number one when Taylor beat #20 Cloer 6-3, 6-4.
Within five minutes, the team match went from a one-point contest to a Florida State victory. First it was freshman Joao Paolo Bounassar (Maringa Parana, Brazil) at number six picking up a 7-5, 6-4 win against Myers. Then Groslimond sealed the team victory with his 7-6 (5), 6-3 triumph at No. 5 over Davis.
After the team point was decided, North Carolina State made it a one-point final as it took the remaining two matches. Banada rallied to beat Westerhof 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 at number three while Iriarte followed suit with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Webb at number four.
Next up for the Seminoles is defending NCAA champion and nationally-ranked number one Illinois at 1 p.m. on Saturday (March 20). FSU follows that up with No. 10 Duke at the same time on Sunday.
#45 Florida State 4, North Carolina State 3
1. #22 Westerhof / Groslimond (FSU) d. Shaw / Davis (NCSU) 9-7
2. Cloer / Sucupira (FSU) d. Banada / Myers (NCSU) 8-2
3. Owen / Bassett (FSU) d. Taylor / Iriarte (NCSU) 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Conor Taylor (NCSU) d. #20 Mat Cloer (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
2. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Will Shaw (NCSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Val Banada d. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Andre Iriarte (NCSU) d. Chip Webb (FSU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) d. Jon Davis (NCSU) 7-6 (5), 6-3
6. Joao Paolo Bounassar (FSU) d. Dennis Myers (NCSU) 7-5, 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 1, 6, 5, 3, 4