Tallahassee, Fla.- The Florida State men’s tennis team (5-0) took down No. 21 Mississippi State (4-1) 5-2 in a thrilling match at the Scott Speicher Memorial Tennis Center.
“It was a great win for us over a very good team,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It shows how good we can play at home, so I’m really proud of the effort we had. I didn’t think we played great doubles they kind of took it to us and did a great job of doing that. The turnaround of the match was when we came out for singles and Loris (Pourroy), Rana (Roop-Singh Bhullar) and Sebastion (Arcila) all got up early and getting that lead put us back in the match. Courts one, two and three we were back and forth the whole match. Juni (Jalif) was down a set and a break so him fighting back and winning that second set was huge. I think the fight that we saw from the team to be down but come back was crucial and is why we won today. We proved a lot today and we also showed how important our depth is and every point is worth the same.”
The Noles started off slow in doubles as Mississippi State took the doubles point to earn the first point of the day. The Bulldogs took court two 6-1 and later took court three 6-2.
Florida State came out hot in singles with courts four, five, and six getting early leads. Freshman Loris Pourroy earned the Seminoles first point with a win over Alberto Colas 6-1, 6-2 on court five. Arcila captured the lead for Florida State 2-1 with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court four. Bhullar followed up with a 6-3, 6-1 victory on court six to extend the lead to 3-1.
The match came down to three third set thrillers as courts one, two and three battled it out with hopes of leading Florida State to an upset victory. Court three was the first to fall as Mississippi State won 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. The match came down to Jalif on court two against MUS’s Florian Broska. The third set went back and forth but Jalif came in clutch winning the match for Florida State 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.
“Juni (Jalif) was clutch and he has done that before for us,” said Hultquist. “Seems that when the moment gets bigger, he raises to that level.”
After clinching the match, Knaff continued the battle on court one eventually coming out on top 5-7, 7-6, 6-4
“The crowd was great and it was standing room only at the start of the match,” said Hultquist. “The crowd makes a difference and that’s a reason why we have won so many great matches over the past few years.”
Florida State will be on the road for the next three weekends starting off in Austin, Texas for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend on January 24.
Noles in the Polls
The Seminoles have one ranked singles player in senior Rana-Roop Singh Bhullar, who comes into the season ranked No. 92 in the nation.
To keep up with the Seminoles, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram (@FSU_MTennis).
Florida State University 5, #21 Mississippi State 2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,4,6,3,2,1)