March 7, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The 45th-ranked Florida State men's tennis team takes its eight-match winning streak to Austin, Texas to face the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, March 5th at 2 p.m. First-year FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist returns to the school where he served for eight years as an assistant. Hultquist brings the Seminoles into Wednesday's match with the Longhorns with a record of 9-1.
"I am pleased with where we are right now," said Hultquist. "We have beat some good teams and some teams that we should have beaten heading into the season. Now it is time to face some of the elite teams in the country and see how we stack up. Texas is one of those elite teams, they are ranked 12th so it should be a good test for us. We lost to Texas Christian pretty good, and now we get to see how much we have improved. We have Clemson after them so that will be two of the best three teams we have faced this season. Wake Forest was a good win for us and but this week will be a good gauge on where we stand."
The Seminoles are the hottest team in the country jumping 24 spots since the preseason ITA rankings came out in December. FSU is led by the nation's 29th-ranked player Xavier Luscan. Luscan is riding an eight-match winning streak at No. 1 singles and teams with freshman Rodrigo Laub to play doubles. Laub is looking to extend his own winning streak in singles to 10 and is 14-3 overall in his freshman campaign.
Sophomore Noah Schnell and senior Mike Ingham are also riding winning streaks of three and two, respectively. Schnell is 5-1 at No. 5 singles this season while Ingham has solidified the No. 2 singles spot with a record of 5-2. Junior Chad Mooney has had an up-and-down season, defeating four of five opponents at No. 3 singles while dropping three of four matches at No. 4 singles.
Texas enters Wednesday's match with two ranked players, No. 28 Michael Blue and No. 64 Nick Crowell. Last season, the Longhorns advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual National Champion Georgia.
"Well, I know them (Texas) really well so it's a matter of executing," said Hultquist. "On paper they are a better team but that doesn't mean anything when you step on the court. I have kept in touch with many of the players and their families so I am looking forward to seeing them again. I root for Texas in every match they play in except for this Wednesday's."
Following the Texas match, the Seminoles will face the Clemson Tigers on Sunday, March 12th at 1:00 p.m in Clemson, S.C. The 30th-ranked Tigers will be the Noles first ACC match of the season and only their fourth match away from Tallahassee. FSU is 1-1 on the road this dual match season heading into Wednesday's match with Texas.