TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –With the last match of the year at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, the No. 41 Florida State men’s tennis team (9-11, 4-5) defended its home turf by beating No. 43 Maryland (10-10, 2-7) 4-3 on Senior Day. The Seminoles continued to excel in doubles play as the team won their 13th doubles point of the season and are 7-2 in ACC play.
“It moves us up in the ACC standings and it’s a good way to build for the rest of the season,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “Certainly it’s a good win. The team was very sharp in doubles today. I think it helped Vahid and Connor that they won convincingly and then got ready for singles. It was pretty hot today and they didn’t have to spend a lot of energy in doubles.”
The teams took the courts under the scorching Florida sun in doubles first. The No. 12 duo of senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) came out and won their fourth straight match by quickly topping Maros Horny and Jan Surovic 8-1 on court one.
Sophomore Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand) and freshman Blake Davis (Austin, Texas) nabbed their second win over a ranked opponent with an 8-5 win on court three over the No. 71 team of John Collins and Tommy Laine to clinch the doubles point.
In between singles and doubles, the team took a moment to recognize seniors Mirzadeh, Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) and Owen Long (Tallahassee, Fla.) for their contributions to the team.
As soon as the festivities were concluded, the ‘Noles stormed back onto the courts to overturn the Terrapins and win four of the six first sets.
Smith came off the courts first with his third win in the last four matches. He handedly beat Jesse Kiuru 6-1, 6-3 on court three. Kelly-Houston came off of the courts next and made the score 3-0 after his 6-3, 6-2 win over Laine on court five.
With the score 3-1, No. 24 Mirzadeh continued with the day’s theme of senior day as he clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 86 Horny on court one to finish his playing career in Tallahassee.
“It was a great moment individually and team wise, especially team wise,” said Mirzadeh. “It’s our second win in a row and third out of four that we’ve won. It’s good for us conference wise and it will help us for next weekend when we play two good teams in Duke and North Carolina.”
“It was a great end on Senior Day for Vahid to clinch the match,” continued Hultquist. “I was pretty confident he would do it; he’s had a great year. I thought it was great we got Connor and Jordan off quickly in singles.”
The Seminoles go on the road next week to face No. 11 Duke and No. 17 North Carolina before the ACC Championships take place on April 21.