Feb. 26, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -With bragging rights on the line, the No. 36 Florida State men's tennis team took the courts against No. 22 Florida at the Charles R. & Nancy V. Perry Indoor Tennis Facility in Gainesville. With the match moved indoors because of rain, the two teams battled it out until the last point with the Gators winning 4-2. Florida State fell to 11-3 on the year while Florida is now 5-4.
"It was a really well played match between two very good teams trying to fight hard for their schools," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "Dominic did a good job of finishing off his guy while Michael did a good job of getting his match into the third set. There were a lot of matches that could have gone either way. Cristian won in the third after losing the second while Blake played extremely well to come back from being down in the second."
The Seminoles started strong in doubles with No. 23 Blake Davis and Dominic Cotrone getting a break in the first game. After going up 5-2, the Gators duo of No. 26 Stephane Piro and Michael Alford started to gain momentum to even up the match 6-6. The Gators held serve and then broke the Seminoles to win the match 8-6.
On court two, Marco Nunez and Grayson Goldin struggled early and were down 6-1. The duo started to gain confidence and came back to make the match close and made the score 6-4 in Florida's favor. After some back-and-forth play between the two teams, the No. 9 duo of Gordon Watson and Elliott Orkin won 8-5. With both wins, the Gators clinched the doubles point.
Because the indoor facility only has three courts, the first three positions took to the courts with the last three filling in as the other matches finished. Davis came off the courts first in a battle against Watson in the two position. After falling 6-2 in the first set, Davis was down 5-1in the second set but fought back to make the match 5-5. Unfortunately he was unable to hold onto the momentum as he lost 6-2, 7-6 (3).
One of the highlights of the night was Cotrone playing in the first position against No. 65 Spencer Newman. After the two players battled it out in the first set, Cotrone came away with the first set and then proceeded to win the match 7-5, 6-2.
The next match off for the Seminoles was Cristian Gonzalez Mendez and Diego Hildalgo in the third spot. After dropping the first set, the junior started to set a rhythm as he came back to win the second set by nabbing two aces in the last game. He grasped onto the momentum and carried it over to the third as he won the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to win his 20th match of the season.
Sophomore Marco Nunez took the court against Florent Diep and won his first set in the match however Diep rolled in the second set to force a third. The two competed with each other hard but a late rally by Diep put the Gators up 3-2 as he won 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Sophomore Michael Rinaldi and Maxx Lipman played in the fifth spot with Florida winning the first set. Listening to the cheers of his teammate and seeing Nunez fight on his court, Rinaldi bounced back to win his second set to force a third. Goldin faced Alford in the sixth position and lost the first set. With Rinaldi playing his third set and Goldin in his second, the match came down to the two of them. With Florida serving it out for the win on both courts, Lipman got his serve in first to take down Rinaldi 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 and win the match.
The Seminoles return home Saturday to take on USF at noon. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the men's tennis team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsu_mtennis.
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,1,3,4,5)