May 14, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The 16th-ranked Florida State men’s tennis team fell for the third time this season to top-ranked Virginia, this time in the round of 16 of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships in College Station, Texas. The Seminoles, (21-9) were defeated by the Cavaliers (32-0), 4-2.
“I felt like it was a great four hour match and we’ve played them close all three times,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “We had our chances and just didn’t get the win.”
For the third consecutive time, the Garnet and Gold lost the doubles point to Virginia. The 20th-ranked duo of juniors Jean-Yves Aubone and Vahid Mirzadeh were the first to go down as they were defeated by 12th-ranked pair Dominic Inglot and Michael Shabaz 8-3. The Cavalier duo were able to break Mirzadeh on three occasions to earn the match victory. The Seminoles took the next match on court number three where senior Chris Cloer and sophomore Clint Bowles defeated Drew Courtney and Lee Singer 8-6. Cloer and Bowles broke Courtney at 6-6 and Bowles was able to serve out the match. The doubles point came down to court two where 74th-ranked seniors Drew Bailey and Maciek Sykut were defeated by 13th-ranked Houston Barrick and Sanam Singh 8-6. Bailey and Sykut were broken at 4-4 and despite having break points at 6-5 and 7-6, they were not able to capitalize.
“I thought the key was at 7-6 in the doubles on court two where we had break point and Singh hit a great backhand down the line,” Hultquist said. “Virginia has won the doubles point all three times and if we had won that point we would have had a chance.”
Virginia took a 2-0 lead with a straight sets victory on court five. Courtney was able to defeat Bailey, snapping the Tallahassee, Fla., natives eight match winning streak 6-4, 6-2. FSU made the score 2-1 with Aubone earning a victory against Inglot on court one. The ACC Player of the Year capitalized on his only break chance in the first set at 5-4 to take the first, and broke the 14th-ranked Inglot at 1-0 in the second and held on for the 6-4, 6-3 win.
“I knew that it would be a tough match to get breaks,” Aubone said. “I just tried to stay focused and change things up on my return and it worked. Then I was able to serve out some tough games on my serve and come up big when I needed it.”
The Cavs took a 3-1 lead after they earned a victory on court two. The 26th-ranked Singh defeated No. 58 Bowles in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. Florida State struck back quickly on court four to make it a 3-2 match. After losing to No. 70 Barrick twice earlier in the season, Mirzadeh was able to turn the tables for a 6-3, 6-4 victory. The Wellington, Fla., native was able to earn two service breaks in the second set to go up 5-2, and held on to serve out the match at 5-4.
“I thought that Vahid played a very good match,” Hultquist said. “He lost to him twice before, but was able to pull out a victory today.”
However, Virginia was able to put the match away on court three where No. 27-ranked Shabaz was able to beat Sykut in three sets. Sykut was able to win the first set 6-4, but dropped the second 6-3. FSU’s all-time wins leader had several break chances at the beginning of the third set, but could not capitalize. Shabaz was able to get an early break and went on to win the match for the Cavs, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“Maciek has had a great career for us,” Hultquist said. “He’s won a lot of matches for us, but one of the things that makes Virginia so good is that their number three player is ranked No. 27 in the country and that is a major strength for them.”
The Seminoles will now have three players compete in the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments beginning on Wednesday, May 20. Aubone and Bowles will compete in singles and Aubone will pair with Mirzadeh in doubles. For live scoring and video log onto www.seminoles.com.