Tallahassee, FL - The No. 45 Florida State men’s tennis team (6-8, 1-2) dropped to No. 3 Southern California (13-2, 2-0) for the second time this season. After a strong outing in doubles, the team failed to build upon the momentum and only won one singles match to lose the match 5-2.
In doubles play, the ‘Noles started strong with the unranked sophomore duo of Andres Bucaro (Guatemala City, Guatemala) and Anderson Reed (Daphne, Ala.) defeating the No. 43 duo of Jaak Poldma and JT Sundling 8-5 on court two.
The unranked tandem of sophomore Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) and freshman Blake Davis (Austin, Texas) also posted an upset with an 8-5 win against No. 51 Emilio Gomez and Daniel Nguyen on court three to clinch the doubles point.
“I thought the doubles was really good, maybe the best we’ve played all year at two and three,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “I also thought it was important that our No. 1 doubles team came back from being down 6-1 and came back to hang in the match and made it a little bit easier for us to finish off the doubles point.”
The lone ‘Nole to win a singles match was Davis who got the best of Sundling on court five. With a 6-1, 6-3 win, Davis won his second match in a row and now has eight wins on the season.
Coming off the courts first, No. 1 Steve Johnson (USC) got the best of No. 26 Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) on court one by defeating him 6-3, 6-0. Also in ranked play, No. 24 Daniel Nguyen (USC) defeated sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) 7-6 (1), 6-1 on court three. No. 76 Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) lost his first set but came back to win his second set to force a third set tiebreaker. No. 41 Jaak Poldma (USC) came back to take the match away from the senior Bowles winning 6-3, 6-7(8), 1-0 (11-9).
“I think there were some turning points in the match,” continued Hultquist. “We had a pretty good start to the match and Anderson (Reed) got back to 5-5 and Connor (Smith) had a chance to close his match off in the first set. I think if we won those two first sets, then all of a sudden it would be 3-3 in first sets. I always knew that Clint would have the ability to come back and push it to the third set.”
The Seminoles face Virginia Tech on March 25 at 3:00 p.m. and Virginia on March 27 at 12:00 p.m. Both matches will be played at home. Admission is free to all matches.
No. 3 USC 5 v. No. 45 Florida State 2
1)No. 30 Johnson/Sarmiento (USC) def. No. 15 Smith/Mirzadeh (FSU) 8-6
2) Bucaro/Reed (FSU) def. No. 43 Poldma/Sundling (USC) 8-5
3) Davis/Kelly-Houston (FSU) def. No. 51 Gomez/Nguyen (USC) 8-5
Order of finish: 2, 3*, 1
1) No. 1 Steve Johnson (USC) def. No. 26 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) 6-3, 6-0
2) No. 41 Jaak Poldma (USC) def. No. 76 Clint Bowles (FSU) 6-3, 6-7(8), 1-0 (11-9)
3) No. 24 Daniel Nguyen (USC) def. Connor Smith (FSU) 7-6(1), 6-1
4) Emilio Gomez (USC) def. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 6-2, 6-4
5) Blake Davis (FSU) def. JT Sundling (USC) 6-1, 6-3
6) Michael Grant (USC) def. Anderson Reed (FSU) 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 5, 4, 6, 3*, 2