Clemson, SC - The No. 36 Florida State men’s tennis team (6-5, 1-1) snapped its four match losing streak with a 4-3 win over the No. 51 Clemson Tigers (10-3, 0-1). Playing indoors for the first time this season, the Seminoles won the doubles point and used the momentum in singles to clinch the match.
“We played a lot of good teams and played well but just came up a little short our last few matches,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “But I really felt the difference of the match today was Connor (Smith). He dropped the first set but came back to win the second one. He played inspired tennis in the third and closed it out. We played indoors which favored Clemson but we got to play in it a little yesterday and I thought some of our guys really adjusted well and played good.”
In doubles play senior Clint Bowles (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman Blake Davis (Austin, Texas) defeated Juan Bolona and Gerardo Meza on court three 8-5. Senior Vahid Mirzadeh (Wellington, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Smith (Tampa, Fla.) teamed up to win their 11th match of the season. The duo won 8-3 against Kevin Galloway and Derek DiFazio on court one.
“Vahid played another good match and was solid,” continued Hultquist. “It was excellent to see Jordan finish his match off. He got up a set and stayed aggressive while playing a power player.”
In singles, No. 21 Mirzadeh extended his winning streak to ten with his 6-3, 6-2 win over Yannick Maden on court one. Coming off the court next for the ‘Noles was sophomore Jordan Kelly-Houston (Christchurch, New Zealand). On court four, he defeated Gerardo Meza 6-3, 7-5 for his first win of the season.
“I’m really pleased to earn a point for the team and give Connor a chance to pull us through,” said Kelly-Houston. “We have another important match on Sunday however and we need to be tough to give us an opportunity to win.”
Smith, who had lost his previous three matches, lost his first set of his match but turned it around and won the next two sets to clinch the match for the team. He defeated Kevin Galloway 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on court three.
“It felt great to pull it out being down a set indoors with a tough environment,” said Smith. “Hopefully we can all build off this win and play well against Georgia Tech.”
The Spring Break road trip continues on Sunday when the Seminoles face No. 17 Georgia Tech at 1:00 p.m. On Tuesday, Florida State plays USF at 2:30 p.m. in Tampa.
No. 36 Florida State 4 def. No. 51 Clemson 3
1) No. 13 Smith/Mirzadeh (FSU) def. Galloway/DiFazio (CU) 8-3
2) Y. Maden/Rigsby (CU) def. Bucaro/Reed (FSU) 8-3
3) Bowles/Davis (FSU) def. Juan Bolona/Meza (CU) 8-5
Order of finish: 3, 1*, 2
1) No. 21 Vahid Mirzadeh (FSU) def. Yannick Maden (CU) 6-3, 6-2
2) Derek DiFazio (CU) def. No. 60 Clint Bowles (FSU) 6-4, 6-4
3) Connor Smith (FSU) def. Kevin Galloway (CU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
4) Jordan Kelly-Houston (FSU) def. Gerardo Meza (CU) 6-3, 7-5
5) Dominique Maden (CU) def. Blake Davis (FSU) 6-2, 6-2
6) Zachary Rigsby (CU) def. Andres Bucaro (FSU) 4-6, 7-6 (6), 1-0 (10-8)
Order of finish: 4, 2, 1, 3*, 5, 6