May 10, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 33 Florida State men's tennis team dropped to No. 24 South Florida 4-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The two teams battled it out in a four hour match at the Ring Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Florida. The Seminoles finished the year with an 18-12 record.
In doubles play, the Seminoles got off to a quick start and were leading on all three courts. Sophomore Michael Rinaldi and freshman Grayson Goldin went on to quickly win their match 8-1 over Vadym Kalyuzhnyy and Everth Dzib on court three.
USF was able to come back and win on court one to tie up the doubles point. The No. 81 duo of Dominic Cotrone and Blake Davis held on and won 8-5 over Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez on court two for the doubles point.
"USF and their coaches should be congratulated for their season and getting their guys to play hard and complete well," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "Winning doubles really helped us and put us in a good position, especially when Michael came back to win his first set in singles."
In singles play, the Seminoles were able to win three first sets but USF quickly won matches on court one and court four to take the lead back. No. 47 Roberto Cid topped No. 66-ranked Cotrone 6-3, 6-0 while Kalyuzhnny topped Davis, a senior, 6-0, 6-3.
After not winning a game in the first set, Goldin won his second set to force a third. After that, sophomore Marco Nunez won his match 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 to tie the match at 2-2. With three matches left, both teams needed to win two more singles matches to clinch the win.
"Marco played a great match today and had a very good win," said Hultquist. "But it hurt us losing a couple matches quickly."
Goldin was tied 4-4 in the third until his opponent broke his serve and held on to win the match. On court five, Rinaldi was struggling in the third set and was topped 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 by Ignacio Gonzalez as USF won the match 4-2. On court three, junior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez was leading the third set 5-4 when the play was stopped.
"Cristian played very well and was a couple points away from the win," continued Hultquist. "Not to take anything away from USF, but we were beat up with various guys hurt and sick. We're looking forward to next season getting Benjamin (Lock) and Jose (Gracia) back in the line-up, they would have solidified the team this year."
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Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (1,5,3,6,5)