March 5, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 19 Florida State men’s tennis team begins spring break against in-state rival No. 39 Miami on Saturday, March 6 at noon. This is the second ACC road trip of the year for the Seminoles. Florida State will then travel to the state of Texas where they will face No. 4 Texas and No. 31 Rice. The team is off to an impressive 8-1 start this season, including a 2-0 mark in the ACC.
“We’ve got a busy spring break with playing four really good teams starting with Miami, Texas, Rice then Notre Dame at home,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “I think every guy has a few things individually they need to work on and that’s what we’re focusing on in practice. Practice has been a little bit shorter but a little bit more focused on what they need to work on.”
Miami holds a 45-12 all-time record against the Seminoles, which began in 1951. More recently, Florida State has led the Hurricanes 7-3 since 2002. Seniors Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) and Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) both posted singles and doubles wins in last year’s 4-3 victory.
“I think Miami is always a tough match, it’s always a rivalry match,” explained Hultquist. “Miami’s coach does a great job of getting them ready to play down there. Over the past few years it’s been really, really close. We were fortunate enough to win last year here. We know it’s going to be a tough place to play.”
Florida State will face Texas on Wednesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m. and Rice on Friday, March 12 at 1:00 p.m. Texas leads the Seminoles 5-0 all-time with the first match in 1996. Florida State is 6-4 over Rice. The Longhorns are currently 12-1 and the Owls are 6-5. Texas possesses five players in the top 100 in singles including two players ranked in the top 10 and four ranked doubles teams. Rice has one person ranked in singles and one pair in doubles.
No. 35 Aubone boasts a 9-2 record with both loses coming against players ranked in the top 10 in the country. No. 69 Mirzadeh is 10-1 this season and has won 11 straight sets. Also impressive this year is the play of the freshmen class. Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.), Andres Bucaro (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) and Anderson Reed (Daphne, Ala.) are a combined 25-8 in singles play and 14-5 in doubles play.
The Seminoles return home on Sunday, March 14 against No. 38 Notre Dame at 12:00 p.m. Admission is free at the Scott Speicher Center.