Jan. 20, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Concluding the long weekend with two wins, the No. 36 Florida State men's tennis team is off to its best start since 1998 with an 8-0 record. Facing adversity for the first time this season, the team was able to handle their problems to defeat both No. 60 Nebraska and Troy at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
Beginning the morning against Nebraska (1-1), the Seminoles took an early 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point, but it was not easy. Sophomore Marco Nunez and freshman Grayson Goldin easily won their match 6-2 to help clinch the point. Senior Blake Davis and junior Dominic Cotrone were down 3-1 against Brandon Videtich and Bradford Zitsch on court one, but fought through five straight games to win 6-3.
Following doubles, Goldin continued to put wins in the record book as he took down Vasileious Stavropoulos 6-2, 6-1 while junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won 6-2, 6-1 over Andrew Dzulynsky. With the match at 3-1, Nebraska started to gain momentum having topped Davis. After winning his first set, Cotrone was down 5-2 in the second but changed his mind set to begin a comeback.
"I knew the match was close and that Michael was holding on serve on his court," said Cotrone. "But I knew the longer I could stay on the court, it would give confidence to Michael for him to close out his match and clinch for us. I could tell the other guy was starting to get tired so that's when I turned it on."
Sophomore Michael Rinaldi was able to hold onto the lead and clinch the match with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Beauregard Treyz. Cotrone was able to finish his comeback to defeat Dusty Boyer 6-1, 6-5 (5). The Seminoles won the match 5-2 over the Huskers.
In the afternoon, Florida State returned to the courts to take on Troy (0-3). Troy had their own Trojan Horse attack up their sleeve and stunned the Seminoles as they won the doubles point. Having lost their first doubles point of the season, the team knew they had to come out strong in singles.
Davis came off the courts first to tie the match at 1-1. He topped Mansingh Athare easily 6-1, 6-0 on court two to bounce back from his morning match. Cotrone then won his match 6-1, 6-1 on court one to give the Seminoles the lead, which they never looked back from.
Golding extended his spring record to 4-0 as he toppled Tadju Davies 6-1, 6-3. Gonzalez Mendez got his second clinch of the weekend as he won 6-3, 6-2 to give the Seminoles their win.
"We've been practicing very hard since we've been back from the winter break and that helped us today," said Gonzalez Mendez. "After doubles we talked about starting very strong in every court and wanting to win 12 out of the 12 sets, which worked. It stayed in our minds to win every single point."
Rinaldi and Nunez finished out the match with wins to give Florida State the 6-1 victory over Troy.
"It was our first time losing the doubles point and we did a good job bouncing back in singles," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "We had some guys really take care of business and get off the courts fast in singles. It's going to be a little different playing no-ad doubles this year, so it's important to get off to a quick start this year."
The Seminoles return to the court Saturday in Gainesville for the ITA Kickoff Weekend to qualify for National Indoors. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the men's tennis team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsu_mtennis.
No. 36 Florida State 6 vs. The Citadel 1