Sept. 18, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Usually the first match of the year doesn’t have much significance, especially when you’re trying to shake the cobwebs loose from the off-season. That wasn’t the case for the Florida State University men’s tennis team as a neighborhood rivalry is how it got it 2003-04 season underway. The hosts took seven matches off Florida A&M University on Thursday (September 18) during the opening day of the Seminole Fall Classic.
“At times we played well today and there were other times where we could have closed some matches out,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We got out of it what we needed to and that was being able to play against competition other than ourselves. Some of Florida A&M’s guys’ played really well. They are much improved team.”
After running out to a quick lead in his match, Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn. / Naples) lost the second set and had to come back in a third-set tiebreaker to win his bout with Frank Green. Webb was up 8-6 in the super tiebreaker, but found then himself down 9-8 and facing match point. The junior battled back to win the tiebreaker 11-9 and take the match 6-2, 6-7, 1-0 (11-9)
For the first five games of the first set, Jeff Groslimond’s (Atlanta, Ga. / Riverwood) was only up one game on Zurah Zhvania. From there the sophomore only surrendered two more games the entire match as he went on to win 6-3, 6-1.
Playing in his first collegiate tennis tournament, rookie Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Palo, Brazil / Colegio Megga) had the quickest match of the day as he disposed of FAMU’s Jarrell Williams 6-0, 6-2. Fellow freshman countryman Joao Paulo Bounassar (Maringa Parana, Brazil / Colegio Marista) also picked up a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Errol Tshabe in his Florida State debut.
“It was good to see our two freshmen get a pair of convincing victories,” Hultquist added. “Until they line up against a different opponent you don’t know how they are going to do. Overall we played well as a team, but we have some areas we have to improve.
Unfortunately for the hosts they dropped two of the three matches that went the distance. Senior Jarrod Owen (Vero Beach, Fla.) battled back from a first set loss, but he couldn’t hold on as Yves Sinson won 7-3 in the tiebreaker for the 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 victory. After seeing both ends of a 7-5 decision, sophomore Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa / Crawford College), fell 10-8 in the super tiebreaker as he lost 5-7, 7-5, 0-1 to the Rattlers’ Pfungwa Mafefu.
Florida State started the season off to a strong by taking the first three doubles matches. Webb and Sucupira made quick work of Tshabe and Williams, 8-2. The duo of Westerhof and Groslimond took an 8-5 decision over Mahefu and Green. After falling behind 4-1, Owen and senior Joe Bassett (Moticello, Fla. / Aucilla Christen Academy) came back to win 8-5 over Sinson and Zyania. For Bassett it was his first match in two years after a knee injury his sophomore season kept him out of the line-up.
The tournament continues on Friday (September 19) with four teams in action. Joining the Seminoles and the Rattlers will be Middle Tennessee State and Nebraska. First serve is set for 5 p.m.
Seminole Fall Classic Box Score
Pfungwa Mahefu (FAMU) d. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8)
Jeff Groslimond (FSU) d. Zurah Zhvania (FAMU) 6-3, 6-1
Yves Sinson (FAMU) d. Jarrod Owen (FSU) 6-4, 1-6, 7-6
Chip Webb (FSU) d. Frank Green (FAMU) 6-2, 6-7, 1-0 (11-9)
Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Jarrell Williams (FAMU) 6-0, 6-2
Joao Paulo Bounassar (FSU) d. Errol Tshabe (FAMU) 6-1, 6-0
Chris Westerhof / Jeff Groslimond (FSU) d. Pfungwa Mahefu / Frank Green (FAMU) 8-5
Jarrod Owen / Joe Bassett (FSU) d. Yves Sinson / Zurah Zhvania (FAMU) 8-5.
Chip Webb / Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) d. Errol Tshabe / Jarrell Williams (FAMU) 8-2