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ACC Race Heats Up As FSU Travels To No. 8 Virginia And No. 54 VT This Week
Freshman Chris Cloer

Freshman Chris Cloer

April 6, 2006

No. 23 FSU (12-9, 5-2 ACC) at No. 54 Virginia Tech (12-9, 3-4 ACC)

Friday, April 7

3pm

 

No. 23 FSU (12-9, 5-2 ACC) at No. 8 Virginia (17-5,  7-0 ACC)

Sunday, April 9

1pm

 

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a league that has 10 of 12 schools nationally ranked in men's tennis, there is no such thing as an off day. That notion could not be truer for the Seminoles, considering five days after knocking-off No. 4 Duke, Florida State has to turn around and face No. 8 Virginia and No. 54 Virginia Tech on the road this week. The Atlantic Coast Conference title is still up for grabs as the top five teams (Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest, Miami, and FSU) are within one match of each other.

FSU (12-9, 5-2 ACC) will wrestle with the Hokies (12-9, 3-4 ACC) beginning Friday, April 7, at 3pm. Live scoring will be available for the match at the Hokies' official homepage. 

Tech has two players ranked in singles with Arvid Puranen leading the way at No. 52 and Albert Larregola is ranked No.125, respectively. Puranen plays at No. 1 singles and Larregola competes in both the second and third positions.

"Virginia Tech is a very good team and is the sleeper in this conference," head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "They have a strong singles lineup and some really good freshmen. There are no days to rest in the ACC and Tech will definitely be ready to play us."

The Seminoles will hit the road Sunday to face the Cavs at 1pm. Virginia enters the week on a 10-match win streak and is 17-5 on the year and 7-0 in league action. The Cavaliers have four players ranked nationally in singles. At the top, Somdev Devvarma is No. 9 followed by No. 53 Treat Huey, No. 67 Rylan Rizza and No. 91 Doug Stewart. Live stats will also be available for the FSU/UVa match at the Cavs official athletic homepage.   

"UVa has been a rival of ours during the last several years," Hultquist said. "They have dominated all season long and were ranked in the preseason as the No. 1 team in the nation. They will present a challenge for us on the courts Sunday so everyone has to step up a level to beat a really good team like Virginia."

With the return of freshmen Andrew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.) in the lineup, the Seminoles hope to get back in sync in doubles play. Bailey has been out with an undisclosed injury since March 18; FSU has not clinched the doubles point in two straight matches.

"Hopefully, Drew will be able to play this weekend," Hultquist commented. "We have missed him because he and Maciek make a great pair. Before his injury they had the most doubles wins of anyone else on our team. It will be great to have him back."

With only four regular season matches left in the season, Florida State's No. 1 doubles team of junior Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and senior Chris Westerhof (Durban, South Africa) picked a good time to soar in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association's national rankings. The first-year pair, who won the prestigious Sherwood Collegiate Cup in January, is now ranked No. 20 as a team. If not for a 9-7 loss to an unranked team at Boston College two weeks ago, it is likely the Abougzir/Westerhof pair would have cracked the top-10 for the first time in both players' regular season career. Over the last few weeks, they recorded wins over the then-No. 1 (now No. 2) team of Scott Green and Ross Wilson of Ohio State. Last weekend, the pair was edged in a tiebreaker (9-8) to North Carolina's No. 6 duo of Brad Pomeroy and Raian Luchici.

Finding success in doubles competition is nothing new to Westerhof, who is the school's all-time doubles leader with a career record of 86-31 (.735 winning percentage). Westerhof paired with former Seminole Jeff Groslimond for the first three years of his career, and the duo earned a preseason ranked of No. 10 in 2004-05 and peaked at No. 15 during the 2003-04 season.

Abougzir is having a breakout campaign in both singles and doubles, having earned a No. 51 singles ranking by the ITA on Tuesday, April 4. He is playing at the top position for the Seminoles and has won five of his last seven outings. Abougzir's only two losses in recent weeks have come against the No. 5 and No.18 players in the nation.

As a team, No. 23 Florida State jumped back in the top-25 after a 4-3 upset over Duke last weekend.

ACC Standings:

Through 4/3 Matches)

School

Conference

Overall

Virginia

6-0

16-5

Wake Forest

5-1

13-5

Duke

4-1

12-5

Miami

5-2

13-3

Florida State

5-2

12-9

North Carolina

3-2

18-2

Clemson

3-4

18-6

Virginia Tech

3-4

12-9

NC State

2-4

19-5

Maryland

1-5

9-6

Georgia Tech

1-6

7-8

Boston College

0-7

5-13

 


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