March 24, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The No. 16 Florida State men's tennis team (14-4, 2-1) weathered the storm Sunday, March 24 and topped No. 65 Miami 5-2 to win their second ACC match of the year. What started as a damp morning turned into a hot afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center as both teams battled back and forth for over four hours.
"I think where we are right now is that we're a high ranked team and people have us on target," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "It was one of our weaker doubles efforts today. We didn't start the way I would have liked and we got behind early. We jumped on them with early breaks by winning four first sets in singles though."
The Seminoles started the morning just as dreary as the weather when they lost 8-3 on court one and 8-4 on court three of doubles. Entering singles play, Miami was up 1-0. As the sun started coming out, the Seminoles turned their play around winning four first sets to get an early advantage.
The Hurricanes got the first singles win to make the score 2-0 in their favor with Diego Soto defeating senior Jordan Kelly-Houston 6-3, 6-0 on court two. Playing in his first match since January, sophomore Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won the Seminoles first match with a 6-2, 6-0 domination over William Albanese.
"Cristian is just getting back to practicing with us and had a real good week at practice," said Hultquist. "He's a very consistent, hardworking guy. It was good to see him get that solid win."
No. 110 Dominic Cotrone evened up the match up court one. After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, the sophomore went on to finish his match 6-3, 6-0 over Gabriel Flores. Anderson Reed came off the courts next to give Florida State its first lead of the day. The senior topped Omar Aly 6-2, 6-3 on court four.
Clinching the match for Florida State was freshman Michael Rinaldi who was playing on court five against Marco Stancati. After winning his first set, the Seminole lost his second set. While this was going on, sophomore Benjamin Lock was on court three taking on Wilfredo Gonzalez. Lock lost his first set but won his second. With both matches in the third set, Rinaldi won the match for the Seminoles 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Lock took a longer route forcing a tiebreaker in the third to win 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(7).
"A lot of credit goes to Coach (Nick) Crowell for getting Michael in the right mindset during the third set," finished Hultquist. "Michael came back strong from being down to dominating the end of the match."
"I thought today was a tough day," said Lock. "There were tough conditions and it's always hard playing rival schools. We didn't play our best today in doubles, they really took us by surprise but I was really proud of how the whole team handled the match. We came out really pumped in singles and everyone played with passion. Got some quick wins and then Michael clinched it for us."
"This was a good win for us today," said Rinaldi. I'm really happy about how all the guys bounced back after losing the doubles point to get the win."
The Seminoles travel to NC State and Duke next weekend. For more information, check back to Seminoles.com. You can also follow the team at Twitter.com/FSU_MTennis.