TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s tennis teams hosted an ACC doubleheader that saw the No. 28 men’s team (11-4, 1-1 ACC) defeat the No. 79 Clemson Tigers (8-7, 0-1 ACC) 6-1 and the No. 52 women’s team (8-7, 1-4 ACC) fall to the 18th-ranked Duke Blue Devils (9-3, 3-0 ACC) 7-0 on Friday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
With all six doubles courts at the same time, the two teams were able to cheer one another on before splitting up for singles play, where the men played on the north side Speicher courts, and the women played on the usual south side of the facility.
The Seminole men jumped out to a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point over the Tigers and did not look back en route to their first conference win of the season.
In singles play, No. 95 junior Guy Iradukunda quickly took down Daffra Sannon 6-2, 6-2, while redshirt junior Lucas Poullain followed suit with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of CU’s Robert Dudley.
With the clinching point at stake, redshirt junior Jose Gracia and freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar finished nearly at the same time, but Bhullar earned the 6-4, 6-4 clincher just before Gracia took his 7-5, 6-3 victory on court three.
The match was played out as sophomore Aziz Dougaz took court one in three sets, while junior Terrance Whitehurst would fall 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-5 in a third set tiebreak to put the final score at 6-1.
The men’s tennis team will face the Miami Hurricanes (6-4, 0-2 ACC) tomorrow at noon, which will be played in the same fashion as Friday’s doubleheader.
The Seminole women were not as fortunate against a strong nationally-ranked Duke team. No. 56 sophomore Ariana Rahmanparast and freshman Nandini Das took on No. 34 Kaitlyn McCarthy/Meible Chi in a battle of ranked doubles pairs, but the Noles fell 6-0.
Junior Gabriella Castaneda and senior Daniela Schippers were leading 4-3 on court three but were unable to get the win as the Noles dropped the doubles point.
The Blue Devils featured four ranked singles in the lineup, and this young Seminole team earned valuable experience as they head into the heart of ACC play.
Freshman Nandini Das made her second career appearance at the top of the lineup for the Noles, and showed well against Samantha Harris of Duke. Das took the first set, but the match went to a third set tiebreak, where Harris edged by Das to the tune of 4-6, 6-4, 11-9.
Rahmanparast and freshman Andrea Garcia also ended in hard-fought tiebreaks in the second set, as Rahmanparast fell 6-3, 7-6(5) and Garcia, playing on the last singles court, lost 7-5, 7-6(7).
The Seminoles now turn their attention to the third-ranked North Carolina Tarheels in Sunday’s noon doubleheader. Doubles will again be played side-by-side. The men’s team will play singles on the south side courts, while the women’s team will play singles on the north side at the Speicher Center.
Women’s Tennis Head Coach Jennifer Hyde
“It was a great college tennis setting (playing doubles together). It was a lot of fun for the girls, a lot of fun for the fans, and for the guys as well.
We put Nandini at the one spot today and gave her an opportunity against a very seasoned player for Duke in Sam Harris. She did a great job. She had match point to win it in the third set and gave herself every opportunity to get it done and just came up a little short. That’s experience that she’s gaining every time she gets out there competing. Her future is very bright obviously and she did a great job carrying a load at the top spot. The great thing is that sometimes it takes a stinger like that to really reset your focus for what’s ahead.
We had a lot of good fighting today. Andrea was out here fighting her tail off with no one else left on court. Duke was just better on the day today. They took advantage of some of our weaker shots and that’s what the better teams are going to do. We’ve just got to get better, improve and find another gear in our games on Sunday.”
Senior Daniela Schippers
“I’m proud of what Nandini was doing, I’m proud of what Andrea was doing. Everyone was fighting their own battles. I think that it’s a tough day. I think that we need to have a short memory because we have an even tougher day on Sunday. We need to take that opportunity and everyone is going to have big matches and we just need to bring our best game.”
Men’s Tennis Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist:
“It’s our first match back coming off the Florida win. I was pleased to get a 6-1 win, any win in the ACC is good.
I was really pleased to see Aziz come back after losing the first set. That guy is a really good player. We didn’t give them anything. I was really happy with the guys that fought back- Lucas was down in the second, came back and won, Aziz lost the first set, came back and won.
It was a good day, but we’ve got to play in two days. We’ve got to play Miami and it’s another rivalry match and we’ve got to get up for that.”
Junior Guy Iradukunda:
“I think we did really well. Doubles were really close, but we won on courts one and two. It’s always good to start with the lead.
We all started pretty strong in singles as well. I think we all won the first set except on court one. That gave us confidence so we kept playing well. We clinched early, but we played out the match. I think we played really well.
(The doubles court) was really energetic. It was fun. There were a lot of people watching and supporting. The girls were also supporting us, we were supporting them. It was a good atmosphere- it’s fun, it’s different.”
Fans should be aware that Chieftain Way, the street that runs in front of the Speicher Center, is closed for maintenance. The parking garage on Spirit Way across from the Florida State Soccer/Softball Complex is available for fans wishing to attend.
Women’s Tennis vs. North Carolina:
Men’s Tennis vs. Miami
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