TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After losing its first ACC match of the year today, No. 28 Florida State falls to 5-5 on the year. Playing under the bright sun, the two Florida teams played for almost four hours battling back and forth until No. 39 Miami came out on top with the 4-3 win at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
“I thought we were in pretty good shape during the match in the first sets,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “At one point we were up in three matches in the first sets but Miami won the crucial points. They won the tiebreaker at court three and held off some set points at court six. They just came up better in the big points better than we did.”
In doubles play, the teams were neck and neck with the No. 13 duo of Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) winning 8-2 on court one against Pedro Ast and Keith Crowley. Miami won the next doubles match to tie it up.
With the doubles point on the line, senior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) and sophomore Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) battled until the very last point to defeat Eduardo Pavia and Waylon Chin on court three 8-7 (5) in a tiebreaker.
“I think that Clint and Vahid need to get a little bit more help,” continued Hultquist. “They played outstanding and won both their singles and doubles matches today. I thought it was a pretty clutch performance in doubles for Clint and Jordan to come back and get the point.”
Although the Seminoles had the crowd behind them, the Hurricanes won the first singles matches on courts three and five. Down 2-1, the senior Mirzadeh, who is No. 26 in the nation, fought from being down 5-3 in the first set to win four straight games and win 7-5, 6-3 to tie the match at 2-2. This was his ninth straight win in singles.
“Connor and I played well enough to win today in doubles, but we have to get better and sharper out there,” described Mirzadeh. “The singles match was pretty tough today. My opponent came out swinging and hitting great shots, not much I could do except keep chasing down balls and most importantly staying tough mentally even though I was trailing 5-3 in the first set. I was able to put together a good string of games to close the set out.”
Miami and Florida State took the next two matches with No. 62 Bowles getting the 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 win over the talented Christian Blocker on court three. This win was Bowles third straight win and improved his record to 7-3 in dual match play.
It was then déjà vu all over again for the ‘Noles as the deciding factor came down to the last match on the court. Like the past two matches, it was again a heartbreaking loss when Carl Sundberg took out Kelly-Houston 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 on court four.
“It’s really tough to swallow another nail biter but I told the guys in the locker room after the match that we need to start doing extra work on our own to get better individually,” said Mirzadeh. “The main thing is we need to do more because right now we are not getting it done so why not go the extra mile so we can say we won 4-3 next time.”
The Seminole will hit the road this week with their next three matches on being played in a five day span. The ‘Noles travel to No. 51 Clemson on March 4 and then face No. 16 Georgia Tech on March 6, which is will coach Dwayne Hultquist’s 300th match at Florida State. Florida State close the road trip with South Florida on March 8.
No. 39 Miami 4 def. 28 Florida State 3
1) No. 13 Smith/Mirzadeh (FSU) def. Ast/Crowley (UM) 8-2
2) Blocker/Sundberg (UM) def. Bucaro/Reed (FSU) 8-5
3) Bowles/Kelly-Houston (FSU) def. Pavia/Chin (UT) 8-7(5)
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3*
1) No. 26 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) def. Waylon Chin (UM) 7-5, 6-3
2) No. 62 Clint Bowles (FSU) def. Christian Blocker (UM) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
3) Keith Crowley (UM) def. Connor Smith (FSU) 7-6(5), 6-0
4) Carl Sundberg (UM) def. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
5) Eduardo Pavia (UM) def. Andres Bucaro (FSU) 6-4, 6-4
6) Gabriel Flores (UM) def. Anderson Reed (FSU) 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish: 3, 5, 1, 6, 2, 4