April 6, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - This Sunday (April 10), the Florida State University men's tennis team will honor the men and women in the military with Armed Services Appreciation Day during its match against Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. In between the doubles and singles matches, Florida State will recognize all the past and present members of the Armed Services in attendance.
"I think everyone appreciates the efforts of all the men and women in the Armed Services, whether they are fighting overseas or stationed here in the US," FSU men's tennis coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "They've answered the call of duty and we hope to have a lot of them in attendance on Sunday so we can honor them during the match and let them know just how much we appreciate what they are doing for our country."
Florida State tennis has had a long standing relationship with military as the home of both the men's and women's program is the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. The facility is named in honor of Navy Captain Michael Scott Speicher, a Florida State graduate, who was originally considered the first American casualty during Operation Desert Storm, but was later reclassified as missing in action in 2001 and missing/captured a year later.
The Seminoles go into this weekend's action with their highest ranking in a decade. After sweeping No. 19 Clemson 7-0 on Saturday, Florida State jumped up five spots in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranking to No. 21. It's the highest the Tribe has been rated by the ITA since 1995 when they attained the No. 16 ranking following a win over Florida.
Topping Florida State's roster is senior Mat Cloer (Brevard, N.C.) who comes into this weekend's match rated 32nd by the ITA. The two-time ACC Player of the Year made a good showing in his last match, dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Jonas Bjorkman - the world's No. 1 doubles player and formally ranked fourth in singles - at the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger on Tuesday.
Cloer makes up one half of Florida State's two ranked doubles teams as he and sophomore Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) moved up one spot this week to No. 31. The junior tandem of Jeff Groslimond (Atlanta, Ga.) and Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) hold down the No. 44 spot. The Seminoles have the best doubles line-up in the country having won the opening point in 18 of 19 matches this year.
Going into this weekend, the Tribe is tied for third in the ACC with North Carolina and Virginia Tech at 4-2, while holding a 13-6 overall record. That tie with the Hokies will be broken when the two teams square off on Friday at 2 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.