Tallahassee, FL - The No. 32 Florida State men’s tennis team returns to the courts Saturday for the season opener. The team starts bright and early at 8:30 a.m. against UCF and then takes on Furman at 3:00 p.m. The team returns eight members of last year’s squad and adds one freshman to the mix. Matches are going to be at the Indoor Tennis Facility located at 2566 Pottsdamer Rd., next to the Seminole Golf Course.
“You never know what to expect on the first match,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “Our guys did a good job of training in the off-season and had a good first week of practice and are ready to go. The number one thing we are looking for this weekend is consistency. We want to build the confidence that every day we play, we will play well.”
The team has two players ranked in singles to begin the season with sophomores Benjamin Lock coming in at No. 99 and Dominic Cotrone at No. 107. In doubles play Lock and senior Andres Bucaro are No. 27.
Three Seminoles are playing in their final season this year in Bucaro, Jordan Kelly-Houston and Anderson Reed. All three of the Seminoles have made impacts to the team and look to do so this season as well. Joining them is junior Blake Davis who is coming back from an injury that made him sit out the fall season.
Sophomores Lock, Cotrone and Cristian Gonzalez Mendez are all coming off stellar freshman campaigns and look to continue their winning ways this year. The Seminoles are closed out by redshirt-freshman João Gauer, who posted his first ranked win this fall, and freshman Michael Rinaldi of Palm City, Fla.
The Seminoles last played UCF in 2004 and are 9-0 all-time against the Knights. Florida State is an impressive 34-4 against Furman and won the last 21 matches, last losing in 1989. It is both teams’ first matches of the season.
Other matches include during the day include Florida A&M vs. Furman and UCF vs. Florida A&M.