Feb. 23, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 19 Florida State men’s tennis team (7-1) will travel to play their first Top 10 opponent of the season on Wednesday, February 24 at 5:00 p.m. when they meet No. 6 Florida in Gainesville, Fla. for the 71st time in program history.
“Florida has a lot of great players, ones that are very strong,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “It’s always a great battle. We have very close matches usually and a lot of emotion in them.”
Wednesday’s match marks the first time this season that Florida State will take on a Top 10 opponent. Florida State’s most recent win over a Top 10 team was in 2007 when the Seminoles took down the No. 8 ranked Gators in Tallahassee. FSU has posted 20 all-time victories against Florida.
The Seminoles have won two straight ACC matches, five consecutive dual-matches and four bouts against ranked opponents entering Wednesday’s trip to Florida. The five match winning streak equals last year’s season-high of five straight victories.
Leading Florida State are seniors Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) and Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.). The two have combined to post a 17-3 record in singles this spring with all three losses versus Top 20 opponents. Aubone, the 2009 ACC Player of the Year, is just five victories away from cracking the Top 10 career overall wins list in school history.
Freshmen Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.), Andres Bucaro (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) and Anderson Reed (Daphne, Ala.) are also playing well. The four are a combined 24-6 in singles play. Bucaro has begun his collegiate career with an 8-1 mark including a perfect 4-0 record on court six. Smith, playing exclusively on court four, is 6-1 in dual-matches.
Florida State also features junior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) who is 5-1 on court three this season and is the 2009 Southeast Region Singles Champion.
“This match means a lot,” described Bowles. “It’s probably one of the matches we want to win the most the whole year. The last two times we played them, my freshmen and sophomore years, we lost. It will be big if we win, for pride, as well. I think we’re ready.”
The Seminoles have competed against Florida more times than any other program in FSU tennis history which dates back to 1956.
Florida is 7-2 entering Wednesday’s match with wins over common opponents Furman, Georgia Tech and South Florida.
The dual-match will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Fla. Live stats can be viewed here.