March 1, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - For the first time in school history, the Florida State men's tennis team defeated Texas. Not only was it a win, but the No. 44 Seminoles upset the No. 15 Longhorns 5-2. The Seminoles are now 10-3 on the season while the Longhorns fell to 6-4 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in a four hour match.
"We have such a hard schedule at home this year with a lot of tough teams," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "One of our goals we set was to control our home court advantage and today we did that. Texas is a great team. I was really proud of our team. One of the keys to the match was we won so many second sets today. We had a good start to doubles, but we only won two first sets."
The Seminoles quickly ran out into the frigid air and got the match started in doubles. Sophomore Dominic Cotrone and junior Blake Davis played in their first doubles match of the year together and won a dominating 8-1 match against Sudanwa Sitaram and Jacoby Lewin on court three.
"Today means a lot," said Cotrone. "We knew we haven't beaten Texas in school history and that meant a lot to us. Before we went out there, we knew we wanted to do this for the school more than ourselves. That really motivated us. We wanted to have nine straight really solid efforts and we did that. Coach Evan (Urbina) gave me a pump-up talk and that really motivated me to really give my all for our team."
With the doubles split 1-1, the point came down to court one where the unranked duo of senior Andres Bucaro and sophomore Benjamin Lock was fighting with No. 11 Chris Camillon and David Holiner. The Seminoles played their game and came out on top to win 8-6 and clinch the doubles point.
Florida State got out to a slow start in singles winning only two first sets. Davis lost his match on court four to make the score 1-1. After losing his first set, senior Jordan Kelly-Houston came back from a 3-0 deficit to win his second set. In the third set, the Seminole took control and came away with a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over Nick Naumann on court three. Beginning at that point, the Seminoles won the next five second sets.
"The match that really turned it around was Jordan being down a set and down 3-0 in the second," continued Hultquist. "He pulled out the second set and pulled away with the third. Blake and Dominic were awesome in doubles getting off to an 8-1 start and putting us in position to win the doubles point."
With the score at 2-1, freshman Michael Rinaldi topped Andrew Korinek on court six 7-5, 6-4 to give himself an 8-0 record this spring and to make the Seminoles one win closer to the upset. All season long, No. 89 Cotrone has been making wins on the court and today was no different. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, the Seminole only lost four games the next two sets to win 6-7 (2), 6-0, 6-4 over Sitaram on court one to clinch the match.
"I've just been working really hard in practice and fight for every point," said Rinaldi. "I just try to have the best attitude I can have and not get down no matter what's going on in the match. It feels unbelievable today. It's a great win for the team. I knew we could win this match, I believe in this team and we can do whatever we want, the sky is the limit."
To close out the match, senior Anderson Reed lost his match to make the score 4-2. After losing his first set, Lock came back to win the last match of the day 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 over No. 80 Daniel Whitehead on court two for his second straight upset win. Previously the Seminoles had lost eight straight matches to the Longhorns dating back to 1996.
On Saturday the team will host an Open House at the Indoor Tennis Facility from 10am-12pm. On Sunday, the Seminoles take on the USF Bulls at noon. For more information, check back to Seminoles.com. You can also follow the team at Twitter.com/FSU_MTennis.
#44 Florida State 5, #15 Texas 2