Jan. 19, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After starting the season last week with a pair of 7-0 wins, the No. 32 Florida State men's tennis team (4-0) did it again on Saturday. The Seminoles started the day with a 7-0 win over Florida Gulf Coast and then rolled over No. 73 UAB with another 7-0 win. The Seminoles are now 24-0 in singles this season.
"One thing we liked is that we won both matches 7-0," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "It's something we achieved to do. Florida Gulf Coast had some injuries so it was a tough break for them, but they've done a good job of getting a lot better and really improving their team."
The Florida State Seminoles started bright and early at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in singles against Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles forfeited on court six by not having enough players for Florida State to automatically start with a 1-0 lead. Off the courts first for the Seminoles was No. 99 Benjamin Lock. The sophomore took down Tianyu Bao 6-4, 6-3 with No. 107 Dominic Cotrone right after him. The other sophomore beat Lance Lvovsky 6-0, 6-4. Clinching the match was senior Anderson Reed who topped Michael Beiler 6-3, 6-3.
"We want to start the season solid, which we've done so far," said Reed. "We want to start as best as we can before we go out to California to fight for a berth for a Sweet 16 National Indoors. Today really helped not only my confidence, but the team's confidence by getting off the courts quickly."
Closing it out for the Seminoles was freshman Michael Rinaldi winning 6-4, 6-2 Gabe Echeverry. Senior Jordan Kelly-Houston closed out singles after coming back from losing the first set. He beat Dean Tsamas 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
In doubles play, the teams played only two matches as one was forfeited by FGCU. No. 27 Bucaro and Lock topped Lvovsky and Tsamas quickly with an 8-1victory. Junior Blake Davis and sophomore Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won 8-7 (4).
Returning to the courts in the afternoon, the Seminoles played one of their toughest matches of the season against No. 73 UAB. In doubles play, the Seminoles got a win from Reed and Kelly-Houston by topping Chris Helliar and Lucas Dirube 8-3. UAB took the next match with Tom Puetz and David Zimmermad topping Lock and Cotrone 8-6. Bucaro and Rinaldi competed against Rafael Rondino and Luiz Filipe Pinto on court three, but the freshman Rinaldi stepped up his play to help with the tiebreaker 8-7 (5).
Using momentum from winning the doubles point, the Seminoles came back to the courts for singles play. The Seminoles started a little sluggish with two players losing their first sets and another winning a tiebreaker.
Coming over first for the Seminoles was Gonzalez Mendez who won his match in an hour against Tom Puetz 6-0, 6-1. Bucaro came off the match next with another quick match. He topped Pinto 6-2, 6-0. Clinching the second match of the day was Reed as he won 6-4, 6-2 against Dirube.
"The UAB guys were talented," continued Reed. "We had to face a little bit of adversity today. I think with Michael pulling out that tiebreaker with Andres really helps him down the road. It helps his confidence and our confidence in him the rest of the season. Getting wins like that is so positive."
Kelly-Houston lost his first set of the match for the second time of the day. The senior fought back to force a third set tiebreaker. After being down 6-2, he came back to win the tiebreaker 10-8 to win the match 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-8) on court one. Cotrone was down early in the first set but fought back to win the first set and won the match 7-6 (3), 6-1 on court two. On court three, Lock closed out the match with a 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) win over Helliar to finish the day with his teammates cheering him on from the courts.
"Michael really came through with Andres in doubles," continued Hultquist. "Going into singles it was tight in the first sets, had we lost the doubles point, the match could have been different. The loner we played, the more control of the match we got. I was pleased with Benjamin and Jordan who showed a lot of heart by not giving up and coming back to win their matches."
The Seminoles return to the courts Monday at 9:00 a.m. against No. 53 South Alabama and follows it up with a 3:30 p.m. match against Bethune-Cookman. For more information, check back to Seminoles.com. You can also follow the team at Twitter.com/FSU_MTennis.
No. 32 Florida State def. FGCU 7-0
No. 32 Florida State def. UAB 7-0