CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The No. 19 Florida State men's team started spring break with a bang as they defeated in-state rivals No. 39 Miami 5-2 Saturday, March 6. The Seminoles are a perfect 3-0 in the ACC with a 9-1 overall record. Although the match was at Miami, Seminole fans flooded the courts to support the team as junior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) clinched the match with the help of his teammates.
"The Seminole Club of Miami came out," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "It was great seeing the crowd split half FSU and half Miami - we couldn't really tell who was the home team so that is great and I really appreciate all the support we get from our boosters."
In doubles senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and freshman Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) defeated the No. 60 pair of Christian Blocker and David Simon 8-1 on court one. The duo is now 8-2 for the season. Freshmen Andres Bucaro (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and Anderson Reed (Daphne, Ala.) increased their doubles record to 8-3 after winning 8-5 on court three against Ignacio Taboada and Waylon Chin.
"Miami is always a hard place to play," continued Hultquist. "They compete hard and always have great teams. I thought it was pretty big getting that doubles point. We came out with big leads on courts one and three in doubles. I think the one thing that really I was most proud of was that the freshmen hung in the match. We hadn't quite clinched it yet but they hung in their second sets and two of the three we pushed to three sets and we won one of them."
After winning the doubles point, the team clinched the victory quickly winning the first three matches in singles. No. 69 Mirzadeh came off the courts first with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Blocker on court two. Reigning ACC Player of the Year No. 35 Jean-Yves Aubone, a native of Miami, won 6-2, 6-4 on court one against Carl Sundberg.
"For the three of them to all win in straight sets against very good players is a great accomplishment and shows where they are," explained Hultquist. "I was really proud of how the freshmen hung in their matches to give us more options."
With the Florida State fans cheering louder then the home team's crowd, No. 55 Bowles won the second set tiebreaker to clinch the victory. On court three, he won 6-2, 7-6 (4) over Keith Crowley. This marks the sixth singles victory for Bowles this spring season.
"I thought we played really well," said Bowles. "The week prior to this we worked really hard and focused in practice and it paid off. I'm proud of everybody. I saw that we were up 3-0 and that all of the other courts were really close so I felt like I needed to step up a little bit. Everybody was supporting me on court three and it really helped me a lot."
Posting the last win for the Seminoles was Smith on court four. Smith won 4-6, 7-6 (4), 10-4 against Taboada. Miami's Chin defeated Bucaro on court five 7-6 (15), 7-5. Simon defeated freshmen Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) in a close three set match 6-4, 6-7 (6), 10-8.
The Seminoles travel to play No. 4 Texas on Wednesday and then play No. 31 Rice on Friday. The team returns home to play No. 38 Notre Dame on Sunday at noon. The match between Florida State and Florida which was postponed on February 24 has been rescheduled too Match 17 at 4 p.m. in Gainesville.