Jan. 25, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - After six matches at home, the No. 33 Florida State men's tennis team (6-0) travels to its first away matches of the season for the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Competing in Malibu, Calif., on the campus of Pepperdine, the Seminoles take on No. 45 Drake on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT. On Sunday, the team plays against either No. 7 Pepperdine or No. 53 Denver. The winner of the regional advances to the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship next month in Seattle.
"It's a very hard regional," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "Drake is probably the most underrated team in the country; they've got four players in the national rankings. They're an older team who had a very good showing in the NCAAs last real. It's a very difficult first round match. Pepperdine is also a very good team and so is Denver."
The Seminoles are coming off of four matches in three days where they won each match. Sophomore Benjamin Lock is ranked No. 99 in the nation and has a 5-1 record this spring. Sophomore Dominic Cotrone comes in at No. 107 in the nation and is 6-0 this semester. He is currently on a 31 game win-streak.
In the six matches this spring, Florida State has played nine different doubles teams. Lock and Bucaro are No. 27 in the nation and are 2-1 this season. Kelly-Houston and Reed are 2-0 this year while freshman Michael Rinaldi and Cotrone are 3-0.
This is the first time in Florida State's history that the Seminoles will compete against Drake. The Bulldogs have four players ranked by the ITA in singles. Anid Ghorbel is No. 35 while James McKie is No. 68. Alen Salibasic clocks in at No. 86 while Ben Mullis rounds out the group at No. 109. Ghorbel and McKie are No. 16 in doubles.
Florida State has never faced Denver. The last time Florida State completed against Pepperdine was in 2010. Senior Andres Bucaro was just a freshman. He rallied from a set down to win the next two to clinch the 4-3 victory for the Seminoles.
Live stats and information from each match can be found online here: http://www.pepperdinesports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/13-ita-kick-off.html.
For more information, check back to Seminoles.com. You can also follow the team at Twitter.com/FSU_MTennis.