Tallahassee, Fla.- No. 17 Florida State men's tennis passed its first big test of the season defeating No. 27 South Alabama 6-1 on Saturday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
"It was 6-1, but it was very close," FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. "You can tell they have very good players and they are a good team. I thought we played tough and played with good maturity out there. We battled hard."
In singles action sophomore Jean-Yves Aubone (Miami, Fla.) continued his great start to the year by defeating No. 20 Jack Baker. Aubone played a near perfect match while coming away with a 7-5, 6-1 victory. The win is Aubone's third against a ranked player this season and his second victory over a top 25 player.
"He's [Aubone] put in the hard work that has really made a difference," Hultquist said. "He's playing great right now and I really liked the way he was able to finish off his opponent today."
Florida State (5-0) was also able to get another strong performance from another sophomore. Brad Mixson (Miami, Fla.) was the first singles match off the court. He disposed of South Alabama's Aaron Krisan in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. The Seminoles other three singles victories were hard to come by. Senior and No. 68 ranked Sam Chang (Young-Ming, Taiwan) dropped his first set 6-4 to the Jaguars Marek Sramek before coming from behind to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2. Freshman and No. 77 ranked Clint Bowles was victorious over Sergio Ramirez in straight sets, but it was a well earned 6-4, 7-5 win. Junior Maciek Sykut split the first two sets with South Alabama's Robert Hodel before pulling out the third set to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Florida State's only defeat came on court five as junior Chris Cloer was upended by R.J. Nagel 7-6(9), 6-2.
"To be a great team you have to be good one through six and right now are top three and bottom three players are all playing well," Hultquist said. "We're winning the majority of our three set matches and that is because of what we've done with strength and conditioning."
In doubles, South Alabama jumped out quickly on courts two and three taking early 3-0 leads. Chang and Mixson dropped the first match on court two losing to Sramek and Ramirez 8-2. However, on court three Sykut and junior Drew Bailey (Tallahassee, Fla.) were able to win eight out of the next 10 games to take a 8-5 victory. The No. 31 ranked team of Aubone and Bowles were able to close out Baker and Hodel 8-5 to take the doubles point.
Florida State will be back on the court Sunday afternoon as the welcome No. 55 South Florida to Tallahassee at 1:00 p.m. Admission is free at the Scott Speicher tennis center and for results log onto www.seminoles.com.
No. 1: Jean-Yves Aubone (FSU) d. #20 Jack Baker (USA) 7-5, 6-1
No. 2: #68 Sam Chang (FSU) d. Marek Sramek (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: #77 Clint Bowles (FSU) d. Sergio Ramirez (USA) 6-4, 7-5
No. 4: Maciek Sykut (FSU) d. Robert Hodel (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 5: R.J. Nagel (USA) d. Chris Cloer (FSU) 7-6(9), 6-2
No. 6: Brad Mixson (FSU) d. Aaron Krisan (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 6, 1, 5, 2, 3, 4
No. 1: #31 Aubone/Bowles (FSU) d. Baker/Hodel (USA) 8-5
No. 2: Sramek/Ramirez (USA) d. Chang/Mixson (FSU) 8-2
No. 3: Sykut/ Drew Bailey (FSU) d. Nagel/Krisan (USA) 8-5
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1