The Florida State men’s tennis team finished its
season by qualifying for NCAA regional tournament play for the fourth straight
Led by senior Antonio Prieto and sophomore Ty
Braswell, the Seminoles (16-12) were seeded seventh and faced No. 2 seed and
16th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth in the first round of the Region II
Championships at Georgia Tech. Although the men dropped the match 4-1
to the Rams to complete their season, their 16 victories surpassed the
1996 win total of 15 wins. The season was also highlighted by head
coach Dave Barron, who achieved his 100th win career victory earlier in
the season against Jacksonville.
Prieto returned to the Seminole line up in ’97, after spending the ’96
season in his home country of Brazil. He returned to his form of old,
earning a national ranking each posting date. Braswell was a key
factor all season long playing at the No. 2 singles position. His
clutch play led him to a 2-0 record in the ACC tournament, including
the match-clinching win against North Carolina’s Rob Tedesco in the
quarterfinal round. The Seminoles, seeded sixth at the ACC
tournament, upset third-seeded UNC 4-2. It was just the second time
since joining the ACC in 1992 that FSU defeated the Tar Heels.
In a dual match doubleheader on February 22nd, Barron achieved what
only two other former FSU head coaches had attained in the programs
50-year history. Against Jacksonville in the morning match the
Seminoles won 5-0, giving Barron his 100th career victory. The ‘Noles
also picked up the afternoon match against Central Florida 5-1.
Barrons currently stands at 111-66. He should become the all-time
winningest coach in FSU history during the 1998 dual match season.
After defeating Top-10 Duke in 1996, FSU repeated on major upsets with
a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Florida Gators in front of a
number raucous fans down in Gainesville. The win was part of FSU’s
nine match win streak earlier in the season, one of the longest under
Coach Barron’s tenure.