May 20, 2005 - by

Yeeee Haaaaa! Florida State Men’s Tennis In Texas For NCAA Sweet 16

May 20, 2005

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First Serve:
#18 Florida State Men’s Tennis (20-7 overall, 7-2 ACC)
at NCAA Tournament
Saturday-Tuesday, May 21-24
Hosted by Texas A&M University
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center – College Station, Texas


Ground Strokes:
How Sweet It Is! FSU Makes History With First Trip To Sweet 16
At a school like Florida State University, history isn’t made every day, but the men’s tennis team stamped its name in the records on Sunday when it beat Kentucky 4-2 to advance to program’s first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The No. 18 Seminoles now turn their attention to College Station, Texas, where they will play their next match on Saturday (May 21) against No. 5 Illinois at 3 p.m.


Hultquist Homecoming Part 2
Last weekend Florida State net boss Dwayne Hultquist returned to the school where he got his start in coaching as he took on former mentor Dennis Emery at Kentucky. Now the sixth-year head coach returns to the state where honed his skills. The 41-year-old Hultquist spent eight season as an assistant to Dave Synder at the University of Texas before taking over at FSU in 1999-2000. The Longhorns won six conference titles during his tenure with eight trips to the Sweet 16. Current FSU aide and Amarillo native Nick Crowell was a two-time All-American for Hultquist at UT.


Don’t We Know You?
Four of the 15 teams remaining in the tournament have seen the Seminoles across the net this year, including their next opponent Illinois. Unfortunately, FSU has an 0-4 record against the Illini, Florida, Duke and Virginia this year. Florida State has previously faced 12 of the 15 other schools, but not Pepperdine, UCLA and Washington. With the exception of the four schools that Florida State has played this year, the only Sweet 16 foe that FSU has played since 1999 is Texas Tech, who the Seminoles beat 5-2 last year in Tallahassee.


Seminoles Look For Better Outcome In Rematch With Illinois
Last year the Seminoles had defending national champion Illinois on the ropes as they narrowly lost 4-3 in Tallahassee. It was a different story indoors this year as the Fighting Illini prevailed 5-2. Florida State got the first point when it won the top two doubles points, including an upset of No. 4 Ryler DeHart and GD Jones by Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.). The Seminoles other point came courtesy of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) as he beat Pramond Dabir at No. 3.


Illini Line-Up Loaded With Talent
Winners of their last 11 matches, Big Ten Champion Illinois comes in on a hot streak. The Fighting Illini’s (25-3 overall) line-up features three ranked players, including No. 8 Ryler DeHeart and No. 23 GD Jones. No. 51 Kevin Anderson has been out of Illinois’ line-up since April 17. DeHeart and Jones are rated tenth in doubles despite not playing together since April 6.


Party Crashers
While 13 of the 16 teams left in the tournament slept in their own beds last week for the first two rounds, Florida State, South Carolina and Texas A&M all had to travel to their regional site. The Seminoles upset No. 11 Kentucky, while the Gamecocks beat No. 13 Oklahoma State. Despite having the number one seed in the region, Texas A&M had to play its first two matches in Boise, Idaho. Florida State and South Carolina are the highest remaining teams at No. 18 & 19 respectively.


Track Florida State Men’s Tennis On The Information Super Highway
This weekend fans can follow Florida State’s matches with live stats available on Texas A&M’s tournament central: http://sports.tamu.edu/specialsites/ncaatennis2005/. The official NCAA Tournament website is: http://ncaasports.com/tennis/mens.


Doubles Key To Victory Over UK
While it was only one point, the doubles played a major factor in the Seminoles’ 4-2 win over Kentucky. Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) upset No. 4 Jesse Witten and Tigran Martirosyan 10-8 in the tiebreaker and that set the tone as FSU won four first sets in singles. Ytai Abougzir and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) won at two and three then Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) clinched the match at number six.


Florida State Ends Indoor Slide, Beats Ball State
From the start Florida State was in control of its opening round match with Ball State as it cruised to a 4-0 victory. The win was FSU’s first indoors this season and broke a streak of four-straight losses under a roof.


Mat Cloer Takes Extended Trip To College Station
After the team finishes its run in the Lone Star State, senior Mat Cloer will play his final collegiate matches in the NCAA Singles Tournament. Making his third appearance — a record for FSU players — he will try to become the school’s first singles All-American by winning two matches. The two-time ACC Player of the Year is also a finalist for the ITA Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. The singles draw will be announced Tuesday.


Doubles Dominance
As has been the case all season, the doubles point has been the strongest point for the Seminoles in the NCAA Tournament. Florida State only dropped one match in Kentucky and ran its record to 25-2 this year in doubles. Florida State has a 61-14 record in dual matches with all three spots having at least 20 wins. The Seminoles are 20-5 when they win doubles with a 6-3 record in tiebreakers and a 7-4 mark versus ranked opponents. Jeff Groslimond and Chris Westerhof tied their single-season school record with their 26th victory on Sunday as they beat their highest ranked opponent in No. 4 Jesse Witten and Tigran Martirosyan.


Tennis Is Family Affair For The Groslimond
While Jeff Groslimond is half of one of the best doubles teams in the nation, he may not be the best player in his family. The junior is the fifth member of his family to play collegiate tennis. His father Gery and uncles Matt and Mark Mitchell all played at Stanford in the 70’s. His mother Pam played at UC Santa Barbara and his older brother Andrew won a Division II title at Rollins. Matt was an NCAA singles champion at Stanford in 1977 and won a team title with John McEnroe the following year.


Seminoles Continue Best Season In 20 Years
The wins over Ball State and Kentucky not only got Florida State into the Sweet 16, but bolstered its record to the best in two decades as the current 20-7 mark is the highest total sine the 1985 edition posted a 25-4 record and the 2005 edition’s wining percentage (.740) only trails Richard McKee’s squad (.862 ) from the same year. This is just the seventh 20-win season in school history and only the third in the last 27 years. Dwayne Hultquist is just two wins shy of tying Hall of Famer Lex Wood for fourth in Seminole lore. Among his ACC counterparts, Hultquist is 23rd in conference history and eighth currently despite having the third-shortest tenure.

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