May 12, 2007
Tallahassee, Fla. - It was a roller coaster of emotions on Saturday as Florida State men's tennis team fell to their in state rivals Florida 4-3 in round two of the NCAA Championships. Florida State pulled ahead early winning the doubles points and quickly thereafter two singles victories. The Gators then charged back to win four straight singles matches to end Florida State's hopes of entering the sweet sixteen in Athens, Ga.
"I think they were more fit than we were," head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "Other than Georgia, they are probably the best team at positions one through three. They really stepped up today and Dolberg (in position five) really played great."
Doubles competition began in favor of Florida as #3 Jesse Levine and Greg Ouellette charged ahead of FSU's #20 senior Jonathas Sucupira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and junior Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) to win center court 8-5. Florida State's senior Ytai Abougzir (Boca Raton, Fla.) and freshman Bradley Mixson (Miami, Fla.) answered back with an 8-5 decision over the Gators' Nestor Briceno and Geoff Barton. Florida State next clinched the doubles point in position three as sophomore Maciek Sykut (Marathon, Fla.) and freshman Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) defeated Florida's Jordan Dolberg and Daniel Cash 8-3.
"I think Jon and Sam played really well today even with the loss," Hultquist said. "Ouellete and Levine are a great doubles team but I think our guys have a really good chance at winning the NCAA doubles competition."
In singles action, the Seminoles took charge on courts four and six as Chang downed UF's Billy Mulligan 6-2, 6-1 and sophomore Chris Cloer (Brevard, NC) dominated Florida's Cash 6-1, 6-2. In position two Florida's #21 Ouellete fought back to defeat #123 Aubone 6-4, 6-2 while #3 Levine of UF overpowered Florida State's #78 Abougzir 6-2, 7-5.
On court three Sucupira began to suffer from leg cramps after a tough first set. Florida's Briceno overcame the injured senior to win in two sets 7-6 (3), 6-2 to tie the overall match score to Florida State 3, Florida 3. Position number five was the deciding factor as Florida State's Sykut split to a third set. Florida's Dolberg fought back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
"I think that conditioning definitely played a factor," Hultquist said. "I think our team was little tired physically and mentally.
Florida State men's tennis team ends their season at round two of the NCAA Champions with an overall season record of 16-10 and 8-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Coach Hultquist seemed disappointed with the end result but had positive feelings about the overall season.
"I think we have always played good tennis down the stretch," Hultquist explained. "We have a trend of playing well late in the year. It happened last year and it happened the year before. We had a tough draw playing Florida again and I think when two teams play again, I think the opponent is inspired to really play."
No. 16 Florida State 3, No. 19 Florida 4