Tallahassee, FL – Another day, another ranked opponent for the FSU men’s tennis team. The Seminoles faced their fifth-straight ranked team Friday night and were tied with No. 21 UCF 3-3 with the match coming down to line one. Alex Knaff, ranked 77th in the ITA, went three sets with the nation’s 16th-ranked singles player before falling 7-6, 1-6, 6-1 in the deciding match.
“That was a really good college match,” said FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “UCF has a great team. It’s probably the best team they’ve ever had. It was a hard-fought 4-3 loss.”
After dropping an extremely tight doubles point 2-1 and falling behind 1-0 in singles, Richard Thongoana pulled a massive upset to breathe life back into the Noles. The redshirt sophomore’s 6-3, 6-2 win over the nation’s 52nd-ranked player kick-started the Noles but it was Loris Pourroy and Sebastian Arcila that brought the squad back to life. With the Seminoles trailing 3-1 and needing to win all three of the remaining matches, Pourroy once again came through with a straight set win taking the tiebreaker 7-5 in the second set to win 6-4, 7-6. Arcila was next off as he fought back after dropping the first set 4-6 by winning the next two sets 6-3, 6-1.
“I think the doubles point was key,” said Hultquist. “We had a 4-1 lead at No. 2 doubles and end up losing that. We lost a bunch of deuce points at one and two doubles. We did get the win at No. 3 but we lost some key points. We dropped a deuce point at No. 1 at 4-4 on our serve and multiple deuce points at two doubles. That was the difference in the match.
“I thought we had some great efforts tonight in singles. Rich got off very quickly. I am pleased with how he did. I felt Sebastian had his best win of the year. A great win over a player that won the Big Fall Tournament down in central Florida. That was a really good win for him. He was very strong tonight. He has been working great in practice and it showed. Also, we have been getting lots of good wins from Loris. He continued that tonight. Some of our guys that lost also fought really hard. Andy (Petrovic) fought back from a bunch of match points. Alex (Knaff) came back and won the second set convincingly and Marcus (Walters) really battled in his second set.”
FSU will hit the road to face yet another ranked opponent when the team travels to Gainesville for a Sunday afternoon match versus the seventh-ranked Gators.
“We are playing better tennis,” said Hultquist. “We are growing but we don’t have a lot of time as we have to get ready for Florida Sunday.”
For more information on the 2021 Seminole Men’s Tennis program, please follow us on social at FSUMTennis (IG) and @FSU_MTennis (TW) and log on to Seminoles.com.