April 10, 2016 - by
Seminoles Sweep Senior Day Doubleheader

Tallahassee, Fla. – No. 23 Florida State beat No. 41 NC State and Bethune-Cookman Sunday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in the final home matches of the season. The two shutouts, 7-0 against NC State and 6-0 against Bethune-Cookman, improved the Noles to 17-7 on the year and 8-3 in the ACC. It was also Senior Day for Benjamin Lock, Marco Nunez, and Michael Rinaldi.

A pre-match ceremony prior to the NC State match included displaying the flags and playing the national anthems for each seniors’ country (Lock – Zimbabwe; Nunez – Mexico; and Rinaldi – U.S.).

#23 FSU 7, #41 NC State 0
Against the Wolfpack (17-12, 5-6 ACC), FSU won the doubles point with victories on Courts 2 and 3. With a 1-0 lead entering singles play, the three FSU seniors faced ranked opponents on the other side of the net, the second straight season FSU faced three ranked singles players from NC State. Similar to last season, FSU won all three matches.

First off for FSU was sophomore Jose Gracia, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Chris Mikrovas. It was Gracia’s eighth conference win of the season, tying with Lock for the team lead. Freshman Aziz Dougaz made the score 3-0 FSU with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Igor Saveljic on Court 4. The match was clinched when Rinaldi beat No. 93 Nick Horton on Court 3, 6-4, 7-5.

With the match clinched, Terrance Whitehurst beat Ivan Saveljic, Igor’s brother, on Court 6, snapping a nine-match losing streak for the Seminoles on the final court. No. 74 Nunez beat No. 119 Thomas Weigel, overcoming a first-set loss to win 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), and No. 10 Lock beat No. 55 Simon Norenius, 6-4, 7-6 (6), to provide the final margin. The win improved the Noles to 24-3 all-time against the Wolfpack, and was the first shutout of NC State since 2002.

#23 FSU 6, Bethune-Cookman 0
In the second match of the doubleheader, FSU and Bethune-Cookman (11-12) played singles first and did not play doubles when the match was decided. FSU posted three bagels against the Wildcats, including a pair by Rinaldi against Justin Hall in a 6-0, 6-0 win that took less than 45 minutes to complete. The first five courts were decided in straight sets, while junior Jake Albo and BC-U’s Alvaro Barrera went to a third-set tiebreaker, with Albo eventually prevailing, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (5).

It was just the second meeting between the Noles and Wildcats after FSU’s 7-0 win in 2013.

Head Coach
Dwayne Hultquist:
“NC State was an exceptional match for us. Winning the doubles point after losing at No. 1 was a very key point. It established us being in the lead and we did a really good job coming out and getting early breaks in singles. Jose had a very dominant performance and got us on the board quick. We were fortunate enough to finish them off with Aziz and Michael to clinch. Having a senior clinch on Senior Day is always nice. I was pleased with Terrance, down 4-1 in the first and came back to win the first set and close out his match.

“Ben and Marco got another ranked win. We had three on the day and we beat them where they would consider their best points.”

On the importance of a 7-0 win over a ranked NC State team:
“It’s good. NC State ranked in the low 30s, early 40s that has had a good year, some really good wins, specifically over Wake Forest. It was good to have a dominant performance because that shows you played good at every spot.”

On the seniors going 6-0 in singles play on Senior Day:
“One thing that helped – we played the doubleheader and they played a lot of tennis today. That works on your stability and physical. Marco played five sets today, Ben played four that were pretty tough. It wasn’t easy, but the score was good. We’ve beaten a lot of good teams this year, and NC State is another one. A lot of team’s we’ve beaten are moving up in the rankings. Our schedule has been strong this year.”

On going 13-2 at home in 2016:
“You have to play well in the ACC at home with how difficult it is to play on the road. We only lost one ACC match at home, and that got moved indoors. We did a good job. We had some great road wins too, specifically Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.”

On sophomore Jose Gracia’s improved ACC play this season:
“He’s been clutch this year. Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, on the road, he was huge, facing match points and getting wins. He’s grown his game, coming to the net more and finishing more at the net.”

On winning at No. 6 and the impact that could have moving forward:
“Terrance has a good record, just not recently. Today gets him back in the win column, and that should be a good point for us no matter who we play. It was good to get him winning there today and hopefully we build off that next week.”

Florida State will wrap the regular season on the road next Sunday, April 17, at Boston College. With a win, FSU will secure the three-seed in the following week’s ACC Tournament in Cary, N.C.

For more information on Florida State tennis, 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).

#23 Florida State def. #41 NC State, 7-0
April 10, 2016 – Scott Speicher Tennis Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
#10 Benjamin Lock (FSU) def. #55 Simon Norenius (NCSU), 6-4, 7-6 (6)
#74 Marco Nunez (FSU) def. #119 Thomas Weigel (NCSU), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Michael Rinaldi (FSU) def. #93 Nick Horton (NCSU), 6-4, 7-5
Aziz Dougaz (FSU) def. Igor Saveljic (NCSU), 6-4, 6-3
Jose Gracia (FSU) def. Chris Mikrovas (NCSU), 6-1, 6-4
Terrance Whitehurst (FSU) def. Ivan Saveljic (NCSU), 7-5, 6-3

Norenius/Weigel (NCSU) def. #19 Lock/Nunez (FSU), 6-3
Dougaz/Rinaldi (FSU) def. Horton/Michael Ogden (NCSU), 6-4
Gracia/Whitehurst (FSU) def. Saveljic/Saveljic (NCSU), 6-4

Order of Finish – Singles: 5,4,3,6,2,1; Doubles: 1,3,2

#23 Florida State def. Bethune-Cookman, 6-0
April 10, 2016 – Scott Speicher Tennis Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
#10 Benjamin Lock (FSU) def. Alexander Chepik (BCU), 6-3, 6-4
#74 Marco Nunez (FSU) def. Walid Gtari (BCU), 6-1, 7-6 (3)
Michael Rinaldi (FSU) def. Justin Hall (BCU), 6-0, 6-0
Aziz Dougaz (FSU) def. Greg Almeida (BCU), 6-2, 6-3
Jake Albo (FSU) def. Alvaro Barrera (BCU), 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (5)
Jack Haffey (FSU) def. Pablo Lopez (BCU), 6-0, 6-2

No doubles

Order of Finish – Singles: 3,6,4,2,1,5

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