TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 41st ranked Florida State men’s tennis team (13-5, 3-2) upset No. 11 Notre Dame (10-8, 3-2) 4-3. The Noles lost the doubles point but mounted a comeback in singles to become victorious.
“It was a great singles effort today to beat the No. 11 team in the country,” said Dwayne Hultquist. “It was a great win for us here at home. We showed great competitive fight and it seems that every year we play Notre Dame it is one of these battles.”
The Noles fell behind early after a poor showing in doubles. The Irish took court three 6-0 before capturing court two 6-3 en route to the doubles point.
The whole match changed once singles started as Florida State jumped out to take five of six first sets. Junior Enzo Le Seguillon earned the first Seminole point on court six with a dominant 6-3, 6-3 win. Notre Dame pushed back to take the lead again after winning on court three 6-4, 6-3. Redshirt senior Lucas Poullain tied things back up with a 6-3, 6-3 win of his own on court one to improve to 10-1 on the year.
“There were a lot of key things that happened today including beneficial momentum swings,” said Hultquist. “It was really important that we came out to win five first sets in singles after we got off to a slow start in doubles.”
The Noles took their first lead of the match after junior Alex Knaff earned a huge three-set win on court two. Knaff took the first set 6-2 before losing the second 6-3. Alex fell behind 2-1 early in the third but mounted a huge comeback winning five of the last six games to take the set 6-3 and give the Noles a 3-2 lead.
“Notre Dame made a great run to come back and take the edge but Alex’s comeback in the third was pretty key,” said Hultquist. “He was down a break but came back to win.”
Notre Dame tied it up once again with a three-set win on court five and it all came down to freshman Juan Martin Jalif. Jalif battled to a first set tiebreaker win before losing in the second set 6-1. With the match coming down to the freshman from Argentina, Jalif stepped up his game big time. He and Notre Dame’s Guillermo Cabrera kept swapping service games until Jalif came up big and broke his opponent for the match. It was Jalif’s second career win, with both being match clinchers.
“Juni had a very tight first set and in the second he was dominated,” said Hultquist. “In the third, he served really well and I am really proud of him. He is getting the feel for college tennis and him coming through today was a big win.”
Florida State is back on the road next week to take on Louisville on Friday, March 22 at 3:30 pm.
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).
#41 Florida State University 4, #11 Notre Dame 3
Notre Dame 10-8, 3-2; National ranking #11
Florida State University 13-5, 3-2; National ranking #41
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,3,1,2,5,4)