May 11, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The Florida State men's tennis team will open its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance against Boise State on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Seminoles (18-9) will face the Broncos (26-6) for the second time in three years. FSU defeated Boise State, 4-0, in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Regionals.
The winner of the FSU/Boise State matchup will meet the winner of the Georgia/South Carolina State battle in a second round dual on Sunday at 2 p.m.
"Everyone is playing like there is no tomorrow, because there isn't," Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "You're going to get everyone's best effort. People are going to feel the pressure. It brings drama. The intensity isn't matched at any other time during the season."
All nine members of the FSU squad have a winning record in singles this season, led by junior Andres Bucaro, who has a 28-6 mark this season. Bucaro has played on courts three and four this year.
The Seminoles' No. 1 player, junior Jordan Kelly-Houston was named to the All-ACC First Team in April. He has an 18-17 mark in singles and an 18-14 record in doubles, where he has teamed primarily with the Garnet and Gold's court two player, Blake Davis, a sophomore.
Florida State is 12-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, but holds an 11-9 mark under Hultquist. The Seminoles had advanced to at least the second round of NCAAs six straight seasons until falling to Mississippi State, 4-0, in the first round in 2011.
In their last competition, the Seminoles won a pair of matches over Miami (4-0) and Virginia Tech (4-1) at the ACC Tournament on April 19-20 before falling to eventual champion Virginia, 4-0, in the semifinals on April 21.
Since then, FSU has had plenty of time to prepare for the remainder of the postseason.
"We've trained hard, got in better shape and gotten used to the heat," Hultquist said. "I'm really proud of what we've done in that in-between time. We're ready to play somebody other than ourselves."
Boise State comes to Athens riding a 10-match win streak, and has won 18 of 19 contests. The Broncos only loss during that span came to No. 1 USC in Los Angeles. The Broncos won the Mountain West Conference tournament and regular season titles this season.
"They're very competitive," Hultquist said. "We know their coaches real well. Their guys are going to run down balls and fight hard. It's going to be a very hard first round match."
Two years ago, FSU and Boise State also met in Athens. After the Seminoles defeated the Broncos they met host Georgia, but lost a hard-fought match, 4-3. A win over Boise State this season could again pit the Noles against the Bulldogs, the nation's No. 2 overall seed, on Sunday.
Florida State will be hoping for a different outcome this time around.
Live stats of this weekend's NCAA Tournament Regionals can be found at www.georgiadogs.com. For more information on the FSU men's tennis team follow the Seminoles on Twitter at: @FSU_MTennis.