April 15, 2004
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
Since taking over the program five years ago, Florida State University men’s tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist has continued to raise the level of the program. The first symbol of this was the Seminoles’ victory over fourth-ranked Duke. The latest accomplishment by the Tribe is earning a pair of All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
For the first time since 1995, Florida State has had more than one player representing the school on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team as Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Jonathas Sucupira are among the 18 players named on Thursday (April 15). Nine years ago the Seminoles placed a school-record four players on the All-ACC team.
“This shows the improvement that we’ve made over the last few years and that future looks very good for us,” Hultquist said. “Having two players selected for the All-ACC team shows that we’re pretty good up top,” “We were this close to getting two more on there. Jeff (Groslimond) and Chris (Westerhof) are one of the top three doubles teams in the conference.”
Thursday was already a big day for Cloer as he earned his second ACC Player of the Year honor. He is just the third player in conference history to earn the award more than once. The junior was an automatic selection for the All-ACC team as the winner of the league’s first flight. Cloer posted a 6-2 record at number one singles during the league schedule, tying him with Duke’s Phillip King. Breaking the tie was Cloer’s 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 11 King during the Seminoles’ upset of the fourth-ranked Blue Devils.
During the 2004 campaign, Cloer has made his mark on a national level with several wins over some of the nation’s best players. He started his third season off with a bang by beating second-ranked Bo Hodge of Georgia. Overall he has nine victories over ranked players, including three versus the top 15. Cloer currently sits 18th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
“With Mat you know you have an opportunity to win at number one no matter who you play,” Hultquist added. “He’s beaten some guys in the top ten and can play with anyone. A lot of teams feel like they are going to lose at one and make up for down lower, but we feel that we can win at the top.”
On April 4, Cloer beat Georgia Tech’s Scott Schugg for his 20th victory of the season, making him just the sixth player to post at least 20 wins during their FSU career. The junior joined Paul Haarhuis and Stephen Noteboom as the only Seminoles to accomplish the feat in back-to-back years. He owns an overall record of 20-11 with a 14-7 mark during the dual match season.
While the Seminoles were expected this kind of production out of Cloer, the team got a big boost from Sucupira this season. Besides his 17 wins, Sucupira brings a ton of energy to the Florida State line-up. He is the first FSU freshman to earn all-conference honors since Ken McKenzie picked up the award from the ACC in 1992.
“Jonathas has had a tremendous impact on the team this year,” Hultquist noted. “Before he got hurt he had won nine matches in a row, including a pair over top 15 players. At that state he was our best point. He brings a lot of energy and I think that is something we have lacked the last few matches since he has been out.”
As soon as the dual match season opened up, Sucupira stepped up right away at the number two position. He immediately established himself as one of the top rookies in the country when he upset ninth-ranked Janne Holmia of Florida, the 2003 ITA Player of the Year.
That was just the first of many wins Sucupira produced over ranked opponents. On back-to-back afternoon’s he beat No. 29 Phil Stolt of Illinois 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 then topped that by taking down seventh-ranked Ludovic Walter of Duke 6-3, 7-5. For his efforts, Sucupira was named ACC Player of the Week.
“He plays a lot better when he plays with energy and I think people like to watch him,” Hultquist noted. “I think the fans like to watch someone who puts a lot of energy into their match and Jonathas certainly does that. He also impacts the guys around him and inspires the team.”
Overall Sucupira has a 17-9 mark with a 12-5 ledger during the dual match season. Within conference play, he posted a 4-1 record for the third-best winning percentage among league rookies. Even though they were recognized for their singles play, Cloer and Sucupira have become a solid doubles team at the number two position, posting a 14-6 dual match mark with a 6-1 conference record.
With the regular season complete, the 44th-ranked Seminoles now turn their attention to the ACC Tournament. Seeded seventh, Florida State opens the league summit on Friday (April 16) against tenth-ranked Virginia, the number two seed, at 3 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.
2004 ACC All-Conference Men's Tennis Team
Player Year School Hometown
Geoff Boyd Junior North Carolina Atlanta, Ga.
Christopher Brown Sophomore Duke Potomac, Md.
Mat Cloer Junior Florida State Brevard, N.C.
Jonathan Janda Junior North Carolina Shelby, N.C.
Jarmaine Jenkins Sophomore Clemson College Park, Ga.
Phillip King Senior Duke Long Beach, Calif.
Raian Luchici Junior North Carolina Timisoara, Romania
Nick Monroe Senior North Carolina Olathe, Kan.
Rylan Rizza Sophomore Virginia Ranchos Palus Verdes, Calif.
Scott Schnugg Senior Georgia Tech Medford, Ore.
Derrick Spice Junior Wake Forest North Olmstead, Ohio
Doug Stewart Sophomore Virginia Malibu, Calif.
Jonathan Stokke Sophomore Duke Chapel Hill, N.C.
Jonathas Sucupira Freshman Florida State Sao Paulo, Brazil
Conor Taylor Junior NC State Dublin, Ireland
Nathan Thompson Junior Clemson Baltimiore, Md.
Ludovic Walter Sophomore Duke Vannes, France
Jason Zimmermann Junior Duke West Chester, Ohio
Player of the Year
Mat Cloer Florida State
Freshman of the Year
Todd Paul Wake Forest
Coach of the Year
Sam Paul North Carolina