TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s and women’s tennis teams hosted a second ACC doubleheader of the weekend that saw the No. 28 men’s team (12-4, 2-1 ACC) sweep the No. 67 Miami Hurricanes (8-8, 0-2 ACC) 7-0 and sophomore Julia Mikulski take down No. 4 Sara Daavettila in a third set tiebreak as the women (8-8, 1-4 ACC) fell to No. 3 North Carolina (18-1, 5-0 ACC) 6-1 on Sunday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
With all six doubles courts playing at the same time, the two teams were able to cheer one another on before splitting up for singles play. The men played on the usual south side Speicher courts, and the women played on the north side of the facility.
The Seminole men jumped out to a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point for the 15th of 16 tries this season and carried that momentum into singles, where they won all but one set on their way to a 7-0 shutout over the rival Hurricanes.
In singles play, redshirt junior Lucas Poullain made short work of Miami’s Max Andrews 6-1, 6-2 on court three.
Junior Terrell Whitehurst followed suit with a 6-3, 6-3 win on court six, and No. 95 junior Guy Iradukunda clinched the victory for the Seminoles, defeating Christian Langmo 6-4, 6-4.
No. 119 sophomore Aziz Dougaz claimed his second victory over a higher-ranking player this season when he defeated No. 67 Piotr Lomacki 6-4, 6-4 at the top of the lineup. Iradukunda previously beat Lomacki on his run to the ITA Southeast Regional Championship in October.
Freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar and redshirt junior Jose Gracia would close out victories on courts five and four to complete the sweep 7-0 of the Hurricanes.
Career Day for Mikulski
Meanwhile, the No. 52 Seminole women faced off with powerhouse North Carolina on the south courts of Speicher.
The Tarheels grabbed the doubles point, but the Seminoles gave them a fight on nearly every singles court in a match that featured several tiebreaks, including two third-set tiebreakers to ten.
Facing off with the number four-ranked player nationally in Daavettila, Mikulski dropped the first set 2-6, but rebounded and was able to fight back to take the second 6-4 as nearly every game reached deuce point.
With the third set a tiebreak to ten points, Mikulski was able to jump out a 9-5 lead. Daavettila came all the way back to make it 9-8, but with the match on the line Mikulski was able to hold her off and earn the biggest win of her career so far, 2-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Several young players, including Mikulski and freshmen Nandini Das, Andrea Garcia and Gabrielle Goldin, showed well against tough competition.
Das went toe-to-toe with No. 2 Hayley Carter and looked like she belonged with the senior All-American, but Carter would ultimately prevail 6-3, 6-3.
On court six, Goldin was able to claw back to win the second set 7-6(8) and force a third set tiebreak, but fell 3-10.
In the last match on court, Garcia just barely dropped a 7-6(8) first set and would fall 7-5 in the second to close out the match on court four.
The Seminole tennis teams continue their recent trend of doubleheaders as the two teams head to Louisville, Ky. to take on the Cardinals on Friday, March 24. The women will play at 1:00 p.m., while the men will play at 4:30 p.m.
Both matches are featured as the USTA/ACC Match of the Week and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
Women’s Tennis Head Coach Jennifer Hyde:
“I think Julia really settled in well after losing the first set. She knew what she needed to do and it was just a matter of executing. She definitely raised the level of her game in that second set.
She’s been on the path of improving over the last three weeks. It’s been really fun to see. How great for her and her confidence to know that she can hang around with a top five player in the country and get the job done when she needed to. I think it’s a credit to all the hard work she’s been putting in and trusting the process of getting her game where it belongs. Today was a huge, tremendous step for her and a big personal win for her career.
We challenged Nandini this weekend to step up in the one spot and it’s very clear to anyone that watches her that she belongs there. She’s got all the tools in her toolbox and right now she’s getting a ton of experience that invaluable for her in her young career.
Andrea is always good for a fight- any time it’s time to compete, she’s ready. Even though she came up short, her scores were really close- they always are. (Gabrielle Goldin) didn’t get a whole lot of warning that she was going to play singles. That girl inspires. She just inspires with how fiery and competitive and how much she wants it. She had this whole facility yelling for her because she was yelling for the Seminoles.”
Sophomore Julia Mikulski:
“I started a little slow, she didn’t have many mistakes. In the second set, she kind of broke down her serve with a lot of double faults, so I used that. In the third set, I just took it point by point. I got pretty nervous at the end (with the tiebreak at match point). I just tried to go point by point.
I’m actually really happy- I think everyone fought really well. We had a lot of long tiebreaks. Everyone was fighting and that’s all we can do.”
Men’s Tennis Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist:
“One thing I really liked was that we got good efforts from everyone. Miami is a really good team- there’s a couple spots especially that they’re very good at. Lomacki is one of the better players in the country, so that’s a really good win for Aziz. Langmo has been around and won a lot of matches, so that was a good win for Guy.
They had a chance to make a run at us, then we won all those tight first sets. Aziz and Guy breaking at 5-4, we won a lot of those tight sets late and we kind of rolled from there.
Terrell came on and played better the longer the match went. It was the first time Rana had played at five and he had a solid outing.”
Redshirt Junior Jose Gracia:
“We just battled a lot and kept engaged throughout the match. It helped that there was a lot of fans here watching us. We wanted our revenge from last year. Coming off of the sweep is just a good feeling. We’re ready for Louisville next.
When we play doubles together, we get a big crowd. The girls are cheering us on. It’s an electrifying feeling and it motivates me a lot.”
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