Chapel Hill, NC - The No. 27 Florida State men’s tennis team improved to 17-7this season after defeating No. 69 North Carolina 5-2 on Sunday. The Seminoles took the doubles point and then went on to increase their record to 4-4 in the ACC at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
“It was a really good win today,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “This was the first time we’ve beaten them since 2009, so we knew how good North Carolina was going into the match. It was important to win the doubles point, especially since we were down in both matches that we ended up winning.”
UNC won the first doubles match of the day on court two, but the Seminoles bounced back by winning on court one and three. No. 34 Dominic Cotrone and Blake Davis topped No. 81 William Parker and Nelsen Vick 8-6. The duo was down 5-2 but bounced back for the win. With the doubles point on the line, it came to court three between No. 89 Jordan Kelly-Houston and Anderson Reed and James Coxe and Oystein Steiro.
UNC led the match 4-2 until Florida State won four straight games. The Tar Heels broke at 6-4 and then each team held serve until UNC broke 7-7 to serve for the win. The Seminoles broke back to force a tiebreaker. Kelly-Houston and Reed went on to win 9-8 (2).
“Jordan and I pulling out the tiebreaker was huge in doubles,” said Reed. “It helped with momentum heading into singles. Benjamin (Lock) and I were both fortunate enough to pull out a singles tiebreaker in the first set to secure another lead for us. It was huge for closing out the match as a team by giving them no momentum. I am proud of the other guys in singles getting off the court fast to close the match.”
Sophomore Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won his fourth straight match with a 6-4, 6-3 score over Steiro on court five. Up next for the team was an upset by No. 125 Cotrone against No. 31 Esben Hess-Olesen. The sophomore bounced back from his loss on Friday to win 6-0, 6-4 on court one.
UNC won the next match to make the score 3-1 but freshman Michael Rinaldi went on to clinch the match on court six with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Taylor Meyer. After the match was clinched, Reed would give the Seminoles their final point by winning his 20th singles match of the year. Four Seminoles have reached that mark this year, the most since 2008 when six Seminoles joined the 20 win club.
“Beating UNC today was a solid win in the ACC,” said Rinaldi. “They’re a talented team. I think everybody played a good match and this will help our confidence going into the match against Virginia on Friday.”
“I’m really pleased with how we pulled out five first sets,” continued Hultquist. “Especially with Anderson (Reed) winning the tiebreaker. Benjamin (Lock) was down 5-3 but won his. We got another great win from Cristian (Gonzalez Mendez) and Dominic (Cotrone) had a great upset. Michael (Rinaldi) continued his great play with another clinched win.”
The Seminoles return home next weekend to close out the regular season. For more information, check back to Seminoles.com. You can also follow the team at Twitter.com/FSU_MTennis.
No. 27 Florida State 5, No. 69 North Carolina 2
1. #34 Dominic Cotrone/Blake Davis (FS) def. #81 Parker/Vick (UNC) 8-6
2. Clark/Hess-Olesen (UNC) def. #40 Benjamin Lock/Andres Bucaro (FS) 8-6
3. #89 Anderson Reed/Jordan Kelly-Houston (FS) def. James Coxe/Steiro (UNC) 9-8 (2)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. #125 Dominic Cotrone (FS) def. #31 Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC) 6-0, 6-4
2. Brett Clark (UNC) def. Benjamin Lock (FS) 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 1-0 (7)
3. Anderson Reed (FS) def. Nelson Vick (UNC) 7-6 (2), 6-3
4. William Parker (UNC) def. Blake Davis (FS) 6-0, 7-5
5. C. Gonzalez Mendez (FS) def. Oystein Steiro (UNC) 6-4, 6-3
6. Michael Rinaldi (FS) def. Taylor Meyer (UNC) 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 1, 4, 6*, 3, 2