March 27, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
For the second time in seven days, the Florida State University men’s tennis team was facing a ranked school from North Carolina with team victory hanging in the balance at number three and four singles. Unfortunately, the Seminoles couldn’t repeat their upset performance against Duke as Wake Forest came away with a 4-3 victory on Saturday (March 27).
The loss drops Florida State to 11-6 on the year just four days after it ascended to the No. 25 position in the ITA rankings. FSU’s Atlantic Coast Conference record dips to 3-2. The #48 Demon Deacons even both their overall and league records at 8-8 and 2-2 respectively.
For the first time in two weeks, the Seminoles started the afternoon by taking the doubles point. Getting the win at No. 3 was the tandem of Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Joe Bassett (Monticello, Fla.) as they used four breaks to defeat David Loewenthal and Joe Bates 8-5.
Securing the opening point was Florida State’s number two tandem of Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil). After taking an early lead over Todd Paul and Derrick Spice, the Seminole tandem found itself down 5-4. From there they won four of the last four games to prevail 8-6. The same could be said for the No. 1 pairing of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Duban, South Africa) as they broke at seven all than held serve to win 9-7 over Brett Ross and Andrew Hamar.
The home team’s advantage moved to 2-0 as 19th-ranked Cloer defeated #37 Spice 6-1, 6-3 in a match that lasted just over an hour. Wake Forest’s first point of the afternoon came when Paul won 11 of the last 12 games to down #51 Sucupira 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. The Demon Deacons evened the match when Liron Straus cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Joao Paolo Bounassar (Maringa Parana, Brazil).
Florida State found itself one point away from victory following Webb’s match at No. 5. The junior cruised in the first set 6-2, then took control in the second set tiebreaker to win the bout 7-6 (3) over Hamar. That left No. 3 and 4 singles on the court with both matches going to a third set.
The rubber match was almost avoided at number three as Westerhof broke and then held serve to force a tiebreaker. But that’s where Loewenthal gained his momentum, winning the breaker 11-9 before going on to take the third set 6-2 and tie the match at three points apiece.
Now all the attention turned to the third match between Groslimond and Ross. The Demon Deacon took the opening stanza 6-3, before Groslimond rallied for a 6-4 win in the second set to force a third. Up 4-1, the Atlanta native appeared to be in control of the match, but Ross broke serve and held on to send the match into a tiebreaker where he won 8-6 to win the set and the match for Wake Forest.
The Seminoles will take to their road for their next two matches. The two date swing begins Friday (April 2) with a 2:30 p.m. bout at Clemson.
#48 Wake Forest 4, #25 Florida State 3
No. 1. #42 Westerhof / Groslimond (FSU) d. Ross / Hamar (WFU) 9-7
No. 2. Cloer / Sucupira (FSU) d. Paul / Spice (WFU) 8-6
No. 3. Owen / Bassett (FSU) d. Loewenthal / Joe Bates (WFU) 8-5
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
No. 1. #19 Mat Cloer (FSU) d. #37 Derrick Spice (WFU) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2. Todd Paul (WFU) d. #51 Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
No. 3. David Loewenthal (WFU) d. Chris Westerhof (FSU) 6-3, 7-6 (9), 6-2
No. 4. Brett Ross (WFU) d. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6)
No. 5. Chip Webb (FSU) d. Andrew Hamar (WFU) 6-2, 7-6 (3)
No. 6. Liron Strauss (WFU) d. Joao Paolo Bounassar (FSU) 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 1, 2, 6, 5, 4, 3