FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 33 Florida State Seminoles fell to the No. 6 TCU Horned Frog (20-4, 5-0 Big 12) in the second round of the NCAA Tennis Championship on Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles finish the season 18-12 on the year, equaling last year’s win total.
For the match, the Seminoles were unable to take the doubles point from the Horned Frogs, falling on courts one and three.
In singles, TCU jumped out to leads on all but one court, where No. 94 redshirt junior Lucas Poullain took control of the match on court three.
Poullain put the Seminoles on the board, defeating No. 83 Guillermo Nunez in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Poullain ends the year with 21 singles wins after leading the team in wins all season.
Trailing 3-1, the Seminoles showed a lot of heart battling it out on courts two, four, and six, but it was not enough as TCU’s No. 20 Alex Rybakov defeated No. 74 junior Guy Iradukunda 6-2, 7-5 on court two to clinch the 4-1 victory.
Redshirt junior Jose Gracia was at 4-6, 4-5 on court five, and freshman Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar was tied 6-3, 5-5 in the second set when the match was clinched.
With the loss, Florida State falls just short of reaching the NCAA Round of 16 for the fourth time in Hultquist’s tenure. FSU ends the season having made the NCAA Championship each of the last 15 seasons, the longest streak in the ACC.
Redshirt junior Jose Gracia
“We’ve shown where we are at (this season). We beat Florida for the first time in a few years and we had a good run. Sadly, it had to end today. It was great to play with Jake (Albo) and Jack (Haffey) and the freshmen. We’re going to end up building off of this.”
“Lucas stepped it up in singles and he beat a really good player. Rana kept fighting, I kept on fighting. Guy pushed it to 5-5. We showed a lot of fight at the end, but it was a little too late.”
Head Coach Dwayne Hultquist
“I think for us, we’ve been a very good doubles point, and we got beat pretty bad today in doubles. The thing I liked was how we competed at the end of the match. We were down 5-2 at court two, 4-0 at court four, and 5-2 at court six and they couldn’t close it out. We came back to five-all, we came back to four-all, we came back to five-all. We were a little bit late in that run. Certainly Lucas was a very good win for us, he beat a highly-ranked player today. That’s a great win for him, he’s been our best point all year. They jumped on us in doubles and we just needed to make it more of a physical match and let the heat play in, and certainly we were doing it in the last three matches.”
“We are a team that wasn’t very experienced. Guy and Lucas, it was their first year playing Division 1, and we had two freshmen in their first year. With four new guys that were in the lineup today, that’s not very much experience. I think we had our good days. I think one of the things that shows for the future is that we played very close with a lot of people who were top teams. I think moving forward we return a lot of guys, so that is very exciting.”
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#6 TCU 4, #33 Florida State 1
1. #1 Cameron Norrie (TCU) def. #38 Aziz Dougaz (FS) 6-1, 6-0
2. #20 Alex Rybakov (TCU) def. #79 Guy Iradukunda (FS) 6-2, 7-5
3. #94 Lucas Poullain (FS) def. #83 Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) 6-4, 6-4
4. #114 Jerry Lopez (TCU) vs. Jose Gracia (FS) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
5. Reese Stalder (TCU) def. Alex Knaff (FS) 6-3, 6-4
6. Trevor Johnson (TCU) vs. Rana Roop Bhullar (FS) 6-3, 5-5, unfinished
1. #25 Jerry Lopez/Reese Stalder (TCU) def. #58 Aziz Dougaz/Guy Iradukunda (FS) 6-2
2. #57 Alex Rybakov/Guillermo Nuñez (TCU) vs. #49 Jose Gracia/Lucas Poullain (FS) 5-2, unfinished
3. Cameron Norrie/Trevor Johnson (TCU) def. Terrance Whitehurst/Terrell Whitehurst (FS) 6-2
Florida State 18-12; National ranking #33
TCU 21-4; National ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,5,2)