TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 11 Florida State men’s tennis team (25-3, 9-2 ACC) fell for the third time this season and first time at home to No. 7 North Carolina (19-4, 10-1 ACC) 4-1.
For the fifth time in the last seven matches, the Seminoles fell behind early after losing the doubles point. Redshirt senior Jose Gracia and senior Terrell Whitehurst were the first Florida State pair to fall as they lost 6-1 on court three. The Tar Heels then clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 win on court one over redshirt senior Lucas Poullain and junior Aziz Dougaz.
“I think North Carolina really took it to us in doubles,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “They were way better than us today.”
In singles, the Seminoles split the first sets taking three of the six. Sophomore Alex Knaff tied the match up at one with a 6-2, 6-2 win on court five. He handed North Carolina’s Blaine Boyden his first loss of the season. The Tar Heels quickly responded as they took courts one, two and six within the next few minutes to clinch the match 4-1.
“In singles, I thought we had a great start we were up four breaks at one stage when Chase was up an early break,” said Hultquist. “They did a really good job of closing out the three matches that they won.”
Dougaz lost the first set on court one 6-1 and was battling in the second set before falling 6-4. Senior Guy Iradukunda lost the first set 6-2 and had an opportunity to go up 3-0 in the second but could not convert. North Carolina took advantage and captured the second set on court two 6-3. UNC clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win on court six.
“Guy made a little run in the second set and I thought the match would come down to him, said Hultquist. “I was pretty sure we were in the position to get to three, but not to get four. They played especially well at one and two and their guy on court six played well today as well.”
On court three Poullain took the first set 6-0 and was tied 5-5 in the second set, but was not able to finish. Gracia took the first set on court four 6-3 but was not able to finish the second set as well, he was tied 4-4.
Florida State will be back on court this Sunday against Duke. Due to the chances of rain, the match may be moved up or played indoors. Stay tuned to Seminoles.com, and team’s social media through Twitter (@FSU_MTennis), Facebook (/FSUMTennis), and Instagram @FSU_MTennis) for updates on any changes.
#7 North Carolina 4, #11 Florida State University 1
North Carolina 19-4, 10-1 ACC; National ranking #7
Florida State University 26-2, 9-2 ACC; National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (5,1,6,2)
Records to Watch:
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