April 10, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With two new schools in the conference, the top five teams receive a bye for the first round of the ACC men's tennis tournament. Florida State University virtually assured itself of one of those spots as the No. 21 Seminoles won their third match in a row by beating No. 34 Georgia Tech 5-2 on Sunday (April 10).
With the victory, Florida State improved to 15-6 overall and 6-2 in the league. The 15 wins this year equals the most under head coach Dwayne Hultquist. Georgia Tech dropped to 11-8 and 3-5 in the ACC.
Florida State's streak of winning the doubles points in 15-straight matches almost came to a halt as the two teams split the first and third matches and Georgia Tech was up 7-4 at number two. That's when the No. 44 tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) mounted their comeback.
The junior duo won three-straight games and forced the contest into a tiebreaker. Tied at five in the breaker, the Yellow Jackets won a point on Groslimond's serve and had a chance to serve for the match. The Seminoles fought back and won two points on Westerhof's serve then took a point off GT for the 9-8 (7) victory.
In contrast, the other two doubles matches were one-sided affairs. Florida State got on the board first when Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Sam Chang took down Zachary Rath and Scott Blackmon 8-3 at number three. Georgia Tech scored an upset at number one as No. 52 Marko Rajevac and David North took down No. 31 Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) and Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) 8-4.
"We weren't playing very well to start doubles, but when you've play as well as we have been in doubles it doesn't hurt to struggle a bit if you can fight back to win," Hultquist said. "You need to face adversity every now and then and our team is confident in our doubles play that they know they're going to come around.
"Jeff and Chris are an example of that. They were down 7-4 and faced a couple of match points, but they put it together at crucial times."
The Seminoles had the team victory secured before Georgia Tech even got on the board as FSU won the first three singles matches. Chang went up early in both his sets against George Gvelesiani as he put together the 6-2, 6-1 triumph at number five. Moving up a spot in the line-up was Sucupira as he won a second-set tiebreaker 7-2 at number three for his 6-3, 7-6 (2) win over Rajevac at number three.
Wrapping up the team triumph was Abougzir as he cruised to his win at number two. After winning the first set 6-3, he blazed to 6-0 win in the second. Splitting the first two sets at number four was Westerhof and Rath with the super tiebreaker in the third going FSU's way for the 7-6 (2), 3-6, 1-0 (7) victory.
"What's starting to happen is that we're having guys win matches quickly and I think that's important, especially as we get into the ACC Tournament," Hultquist noted. "Sam won really quickly; I think he was done before most of the other matches were out of the first set. Jonathas had a good, he's not completely back, but he's close and then Ytai clinch it for us with his match and really played well in the second set."
Providing Georgia Tech with its first point of the afternoon was 24th-ranked Muguruza at number won. He won the third-set tiebreaker 10-7 to beat No. 32 Cloer 7-6 (3), 0-6, 1-0 (7). Giving the Yellow Jackets their second point was George Gvelesiani as he beat Chip Webb (Chattanooga, Tenn.) 7-6 (6), 2-6, 1-0 (4) at number six.
Florida State concludes the regular season on April 15 when it plays host to Miami on Friday at 5 p.m.
Box Score Singles No. 1: #24 Jose Luis Muguruza (GT) def. #32 Mat Cloer (FSU) 7-6 (3), 0-6, 1-0 (7) No. 2: Ytai Abougzir (FSU) def. David North (GT) 6-3, 6-0 No. 3: Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Marko Rajevac (GT) 6-3, 7-6 (2) No. 4: Chris Westerhof (FSU) def. Zachary Rath (GT) 7-6 (2), 3-6, 1-0 (7) No. 5: Sam Chang (FSU) def. Jordan Delass (GT) 6-2, 6-1 No. 6: Chip Webb (FSU) George Gvelesiani (GT) 7-6 (6), 2-6, 1-0 (4) Order of Finish: 5, 3, 2, 4, 1, 6 Doubles: No. 1: #52 Rajevac/North (GT) def. #31 Cloer/Abougzir (FSU) 8-4 No. 2: #44 Jeff Groslimond/Westerhof (FSU) def. Muguruza/Sukhwa Young (GT) 9-8 (7) No. 3: Sucupira/Chang (FSU) def. Rath/Scott Blackmon (GT) 8-3 Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2