April 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The No. 44 Florida State men's tennis team (9-13, 4-7) enters the ACC Championships on Thursday, April 21, against No. 48 Maryland (11-11, 3-8) at 9 a.m. The `Noles are playing as the No. 8 seed while the Terrapins are the No. 9 seed. Matches will take place at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. The winner of the match will face No. 1 seed Virginia on Friday morning at 9 a.m.
"We won 4-3 here against them," said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. "Now we're playing them a second time. Part of the key of the match is that our guys cannot take it that we won last time but take it like we're going to have another battle and have to go at it."
This season No. 26 senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) leads the team with a 21-10 singles record and is 8-3 in the ACC. In doubles play, he and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) have teamed up as the No. 12 doubles team and have a 19-8 record this year and are 8-3 in the ACC. Senior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) is No. 99 in singles rankings. Sophomore Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) has had an impressive ACC season with a 7-4 singles record and is 5-2 in doubles with freshman Blake Davis (Austin, Texas).
Florida State enters this year's ACC Championships with an all-time 16-19 record in the tournament. The Seminoles reached the Championship Finals in 2005 and reached the semifinals from 2005-2009. Last season, Florida State beat Clemson 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals where the team lost to Duke 4-0.
For Maryland, Maros Horny is ranked No. 106 in singles while he and Jan Surovic are No. 79 in doubles. The Seminoles defeated Maryland on Senior Day 4-3 earlier this year. Mirzadeh defeated Horny 6-4, 6-4 to clinch the match. Smith defeated Jesse Kiuru 6-1, 6-3 while Kelly-Houston got the 6-3, 6-2 win against Tommy Laine. Florida State took the doubles point at Mirzadeh and Smith defeated Horny and Jan Surovic 8-1 while Kelly-Houston and Davis won 8-5 against John Collins and Laine.
"Maryland has had a great year," continued Hultquist. "I think their team is probably the most improved team in the ACC from last year. Certainly their coach has done a great job and probably should be considered for ACC Coach of the Year."
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