April 24, 2014
CARY, N.C. - The No. 8-seed Florida State men's tennis team topped No. 9-seed Miami 4-0 in the first round of the ACC Championships Thursday. The Seminoles battled for over three hours at the Cary Tennis Park.
"The match today was very similar to five days ago when we played down in Miami," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "It was a real battle and it showed a lot of the Miami team to be down 3-0 and fight back to win four second sets. Marco had a chance to finish it in the second set and that showed a lot of him to overcome his loss and clinch the match in the third. We look forward to the opportunity to play last year's National Champions Virginia tomorrow."
The Seminoles started strong in doubles play leading all three matches. Sophomore Michael Rinaldi and freshman Grayson Goldin put up an 8-3 win over Gabriel Flores and Diego Soto on court two. Senior Blake Davis and junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez clinched the match 8-6 against Bernard Tefel and Henrique Tsukamoto on court three.
"It was good for us to get the doubles point which we've now won three out of the last four matches," continued Hultquist. "We had strong starts on all three courts and was in position to win on all three spots."
In singles play, Florida State started strong winning all six first sets.
Goldin got off the courts extremely fast with a 6-1, 6-1 win over William Albanese on court six to give the Seminoles a 2-0 lead. Junior Dominic Cotrone, ranked No. 72 in singles, faced off against No. 68 Omar Aly on court one. Just five days ago, Cotrone upset Aly at Miami in a three set match. Today Cotrone once again upset Aly, this time only needing two sets as he won 6-1, 6-4.
"Dominic defeating their No. 1 player twice in one week showed a really good effort," concluded Hultquist. "It's always hard to play the same opponent back-to-back and it shows a lot to get those ranked wins."
With the score 3-0, the Seminoles needed to win only one match out of the remaining four matches. The Hurricanes started to come back strong and went on to win all four of those second sets. With a chance to clinch in the second set, sophomore Marco Nunez lost that set and started to fight back in the third set.
Nunez started to rally around the support of his teammates and from the women's tennis team who had just won their match. He won his match 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 against Soto to clinch the match for the Seminoles.
"I had chances to close it out in the second set but my opponent played really well to win the second set," continued Nunez. "When the third set started, I was ready because I knew my team needed me for the win. I think everyone had a great effort fighting especially Dominic and Grayson winning fast, which helped us a lot. Having the women's team next to us helped a lot by hearing them cheer. The people outside the court cheering were great motivation for me in the third set."
When the match was won, the other courts were stopped. The Seminoles take on No. 1-seed Virginia Friday morning at 9 a.m. in the quarterfinals.
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Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (6,1,3)