Jan. 25, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - After a grueling three and a half hour long match, with points going back and forth between Florida State (8-1) and TCU (1-0), the No. 35 Seminoles lost their first match of the year as the No. 38 Horned Frogs won 4-3 Saturday on the campus of the University of Florida.
In the first match of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, the Seminoles came out strong to win the doubles point. Senior Blake Davis and junior Dominic Cotrone nabbed a quick 6-1 win over the No. 11 doubles team of Nick Chappell and Will Stein. TCU came back to make doubles tied as sophomore Marco Nunez and freshman Grayson Goldin lost 6-4.
Down 4-2 on court three, junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez and sophomore Michael Rinaldi took control and fought back to win four straight games to clinch the doubles point for the Seminoles with a 6-5 (5) win over Jhonathan Gonzalez and Facundo Lugones.
"Doubles was well played today," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "It was very intense. The most important game on court one was them winning the first game very decisively. Third doubles being down and then coming back to win was great for them and it showed their improvement after playing for the first time together last week."
In singles Goldin got off to a quick start by winning his match in under an hour. His 6-3, 6-0 win over Jhonathan Gonzalez gave the Seminoles a 2-0 lead. Davis fought hard in his first set to come back and force a tiebreaker but was unable to keep that momentum going as he lost his match 6-5 (5), 6-0 against Arnau Dachs.
"Grayson did a great job of winning quickly," continued Hultquist. "We put ourselves in a position to win by getting three first sets."
After winning his first set 6-0, Gonzalez Mendez lost his second set to force a third set. With both players battling back and forth, the Seminole got back his momentum to win the match 6-0, 3-6, 6-5 (4). Cotrone also played a three set battle, but lost his match to No. 84 Chappell 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 in the first position.
Nunez lost his first set and was down 5-2 in the second set until he battled back to win four straight games to win the set. He was unable to hold on as No. 118 Lugones tied the between the two schools with his 6-2, 5-6 (9), 6-1 win.
The deciding match came down to the fifth court as Rinaldi faced off against Trey Daniel. After winning the first set in a tiebreaker, Daniel bounced back to win the second set. Unable to hold his serves, Rinaldi lost the third set as Daniel won 5-6 (4), 6-4, 6-2.
"I thought it was great Marco and Dominic won their second sets to hang in there and give us a chance," concluded Hultquist. "We had a chance with Michael in the third but unfortunately he didn't get the win."
The Seminoles return to the courts Sunday to compete against No. 44 UNC-Wilmington. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the men's tennis team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsu_mtennis.