Feb. 17, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. –
It was an exciting day at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center as No. 12 Florida State men’s tennis defeated No. 8 Florida 4-3 for the first time in 10 years. The Seminoles were joined by over 500 of their closest fans as they improved the overall season record to 6-2 and caused Florida their second loss of the dual match season. The last time Florida State men’s tennis defeated Florida was in 1997 under the direction of head coach David Barron.
Kicking off doubles play to a strong start came from position two as junior Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) and sophomore Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) defeated Nestor Briceno and Jordan Dolberg of Florida 8-5. Clinching the doubles point for the Seminoles took place on court number three as freshmen dream team Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) and Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) overcame the Gator’s Daniel Cash and Geoffrey Barton 8-6. Senior duo Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) fell on center court in a tiebreak finish as UF’s Jesse Levine and Greg Ouellette won 9-8 (5).
“That was huge when we won the doubles,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “Their (Florida) number one doubles team beat the NCAA champs on Tuesday so it was great we actually hung in there and had a chance to win. I think it’s sometimes important when you have three opportunities to win the doubles point instead of just the two. I felt like we were better at position two doubles and as it turns out, that’s where we won. For our guys that won doubles, it came down to the wire. I felt confident that they had to just focus on their matches.”
In singles competition, the Gators stormed back in position one as UF’s Levine defeated Abougzir 1-6, 1-6 while Florida State stayed strong on court four as #76 Maciek Sykut dominated Florida’s Dolberg 6-1, 6-2. Debuting his first home match of the season, Florida State’s Sam Chang fell on court three to #60 Nestor Briceno 1-6, 0-6 leaving the overall match score tied at 2-2. High emotions continued in position six as sophomore Chris Cloer (Brevard, NC) overpowered UF’s Barton 6-4, 6-1 giving the Seminoles a 3-2 lead. The deciding factor of the match came from court as Sucupira stormed back for a third set victory over the Gators Daniel Cash 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to give Florida State the match victory.
“I was 5-3 in the last set and really focused on the match when I looked up and saw everyone in the crowd and realized I had to win this match,” Sucupira said. “We definitely came in to this match confident because we knew Florida was good but that we were really good in the last three. We knew we had to win the doubles point and the last three (positions) and we did.”
Court number two’s match ended quickly after the victory as Florida’s #16 Ouellette defeated Aubone 4-6, 6-2, 0-6 ending the overall match with Florida State 4, Florida 3.
“With Florida as our rival, traditionally they’ve been the better team and we’ve always been right there but not quite able to get over the hump,” coach Hultquist said. “I told the team that one of the differences is I really believe that this year we’re better. Before when we played them closely ranked, we weren’t quite as good. I feel like we were better down low than they were and kind of thought we would win 4, 5 and 6.”
With over 500 fans in attendance at today’s match, Coach Hultquist and his team do not take for granted the importance of crowd support. With today’s victory over Florida, the Seminoles have improved to a ten home match winning streak.
“To have that kind of crowd support is huge. Looking back, we’ve won nine in a row at home (now ten) and our home court advantage is going to continue to grow. I think the crowd is a huge part of the win and I think it definitely helped us get the doubles point.”
On Saturday, February 24 at 1:00 p.m Florida State men’s tennis takes on another in-state rival against the #26 Miami Hurricanes. Saturday’s match against the Hurricanes will be the first ACC match of the season for the Seminoles and also available post match on ACC Select. Live stats of the game will be available on www.seminoles.com during the match. All home matches are held at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center where admission is free.
1. Levine/Ouellette (UF) def. Abougzir/Aubone (FSU) 9-8 (5)
2. Sykut/Chang (FSU) def. Briceno/Dolberg (UF) 8-5
3. Aubone/Mixson (FSU) def. Cash/Barton (UF) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1
1. Jesse Levine (UF) def. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) 6-1, 6-1
2. #16 Greg Ouellette (UF) def. Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) 4-6, 6-2, 0-6
3. #60 Nestor Briceno (UF) def. Sam Chang (FSU 1-6, 0-6
4. #76 Maciek Sykut (FSU) def. Jordan Dolberg (UF) 6-1, 6-2
5. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Daniel Cash (UF) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Chris Cloer (FSU) def. Geoffrey Barton (UF) 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 3, 6, 5*, 2