TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 26 Florida State men’s tennis team (5-4) lost its fourth straight match to a team ranked in the top seven today. No. 5 Texas pulled out the tight 4-3 win at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center to increase their record to 7-0.
“I think we’re competing well,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “Ultimately at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if it’s 4-3, if you win you win, if you lose you lose. I thought we put a lot of effort and energy in it but just came up a little short.”
Although the Seminoles lost the doubles point, senior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman Blake Davis (Austin, Texas) won a close 8-7(3) match on court three against Ben Chen and Vasko Mladenov. The No. 5 duo of Ed Corrie and Jean Andersen gave senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) their first loss of the year beating them 8-5 on court one.
In singles play, No. 42 Mirzadeh came off the courts first with a strong 6-0, 6-1 match against Ed Corrie on court one. Last season, Mirzadeh upset Corrie who was ranked No. 10 at the time. Without dropping a game, Davis nabbed his first win over a ranked opponent with a 6-0, 6-0 win on court four against No. 100 Ben Chen.
“Every week it feels like we come in and play another top ten team in the nation and every week we lose 4-3,” said Davis. “I think the doubles point is huge, we win the doubles point today and obviously we win. We did that against Florida but I felt like I had the match on my racket but I just didn’t pull through and clinch it. We don’t know who is going to be the last one on the court, but that person has to step up and say I want it more than my opponent.”
Florida State had plenty of momentum after those two matches, but Texas pulled out the next three singles matches to clinch the bout. No. 37 Bowles closed out the match with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win on court two against Kellen Damico.
“Seniors Clint and Vahid have won the last two weeks, but our younger players are going to have to play better,” concluded Hultquist. “They are certainly good enough, they just haven’t come through in the big matches and I think that’s what it comes down to.”
The Seminoles are off next weekend and won’t return to the courts until February 26 when they face rival Miami at home in Tallahassee.
No. 5 Texas 4 def. No. 26 Florida State 3
1) No. 5 Corrie/Andersen (UT) def. Smith/Mirzadeh (FSU) 8-5
2) No. 25 Damico/Holiner (UT) def. Bucaro/Reed (FSU) 8-4
3) Bowles/Davis (FSU) def. Chen/Mladenov (UT) 8-7(3)
Order of finish: 1, 2*, 3
1) No. 42 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) def. Ed Corrie (UT) 6-0, 6-1
2) No. 37 Clint Bowles (FSU) v. Kellen Damico (UT) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
3) Jean Andersen (UT) def. Connor Smith (FSU) 6-4, 6-2
4) Blake Davis (FSU) def. No. 100 Ben Chen (UT) 6-0, 6-0
5) No. 78 Vasko Mladenov (UT) def. Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) 6-4, 7-6(3)
6) Daniel Whitehead (UT) def. Anderson Reed (FSU) 6-0, 1-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 4, 3, 5, 6*, 2