April 16, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It was an emotional day for the No. 22 Florida State men’s tennis program Sunday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center as the Seminoles won their program-best eighth ACC match of the season with a stellar 7-0 victory over No. 26 Wake Forest (14-9, 6-5 ACC) on Senior Day. The Tribe’s top two singles players, Ytai Abougzir and Jonathas Sucupira, recorded upsets in singles action.
FSU, winners of four of the last five matches, will enter next week’s ACC Championship with a 15-10 overall and 8-3 league record.
“We had a great match today,” Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “With the temperatures in the 90s, it is amazing because our guys were not tired. We are in tip-top shape and the warm weather tends to work in our favor because we are a really conditioned team.”
Pre-match ceremonies honoring the program’s top doubles player of all time, senior Chris Westerhof, set the tone for the afternoon as the Seminoles got off to a strong start in doubles action. Westerhof and Abougzir, ranked No. 20 in the country, rolled to their fifth straight victory at center court with a dominating 8-4 win over No. 42 Andrew Hamar and Todd Paul. FSU took the doubles point when freshmen Andrew Bailey and Maciek Sykut defeated Marius Adamski and Cory Parr, 8-6, in the third slot.
FSU maintained control throughout the match, as Westerhof quickly added to the Seminoles’ lead with a strong 6-1, 6-1 performance at No. 5 over Adamski. Abougzir, ranked No. 51 in singles, followed suit with an upset at the top spot, defeating the Demon Deacons’ No. 13 Paul by a 6-3, 6-2 margin.
“Ytai is having a breakout year and he is playing really well,” Hultquist said. “Even in the matches he lost, he was right there to win. I feel like he is in the same league as some of the top players in the country and he is definitely one of the best in the conference. His forehand is his weapon and Ytai is playing great at the net…he is peaking at exactly the right time.”
Seminole freshman Chris Cloer clinched the match for the home team by defeating Wake Forest’s Liro Straus by a 6-0, 6-1 count at No. 6. Cloer is an impressive 7-3 in his last 10 matches and finished conference action with a team-tying-best 8-3 singles record. Westerhof and Sykut also ended ACC regular season play with an 8-3 mark.
Sucupira added on to the Florida State tally with a 6-2, 6-4 upset bid over No. 94 Hamar at No. 2 singles. Sophomore Sam Chang also delivered for the Garnet and Gold at No. 3, taking down Parr by a 6-2, 7-6(6) margin. For the sweep, Sykut outlasted Brett Ross in a super tiebreaker by scores of 5-7, 6-3 (10-6).
Florida State will now await word on its seeding at the ACC Championship; the tournament gets underway April 20 in Cary, North Carolina.