Tallahassee - The No. 41 Florida State men’s tennis team closed out the weekend with a 4-3 upset over No. 18 Wake Forest Sunday afternoon. In the evening, the Seminoles swept the Rattlers 7-0 and are now 15-5 on the season with a 3-1 conference record.
“Wake Forest was probably the best win of the year for us,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It was a great weekend with us going 3-0 and it now gives us several solid conference wins. We have a lot to look forward to now with a very tough weekend coming up.”
After losing an abnormal five straight doubles points in a row this year, the Seminoles were back in form by winning all six doubles matches Sunday.
Beginning the day at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center against Wake Forest, No. 41 Dominic Cotrone and Blake Davis topped Jon Ho and Adam Lee 8-3 on court one. Grayson Goldin and Michael Rinaldi followed up with an 8-6 win over Aws Laaribi and Anthony Delcore on court three. On court two, Cristian Gonzalez Mendez and Marco Nunez upset the No. 58 duo of Romain Bogaerts and Maksim Kan 8-7 (5) to close out doubles.
“It was important to win the doubles point this afternoon,” said Hultquist. “It was great to see Blake and Dominic get a solid win and for the rest of the teams to get wins on every court.”
“It was great to get the doubles point after losing it five times in a row,” said Gonzalez Mendez. “Today the chemistry between Marco and me was better and we were more synchronized which paid off in the end.”
As soon as the teams hit the court for singles, rain hit Tallahassee moving the remainder of the matches to the Indoor Tennis Facility. After a 35 minute delay the teams once again went to battle against one another with the two teams splitting the six first sets.
Rinaldi got off the courts quickly to give the team a 2-0 lead. The sophomore gained a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nicky Kunz on court five. No. 86 Gonzalez Mendez proceeded to upset No. 48 Adam Lee 6-4, 6-3 on court two to give the Seminoles a 3-0 lead.
At that point, the Demon Deacons won two straight matches to make the match tight. No. 122 Cotrone lost to No. 20 Bogaerts 6-3, 6-4 while Nunez dropped 6-3, 6-3 to Ho.
After dropping his last three singles matches, the pressure was put on Goldin, a freshman recently ranked No. 116 in the nation. After winning his first set to Pedro Dumont, Goldin lost his second set where he only won one game. With the third set tied at 4-4, Goldin fought against Dumont’s serve to break him and gain the 5-4 lead. Serving it out, Goldin won the match 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 on court six where his teammates proceeded to tackle him on the court in celebration of the team’s upset.
“Grayson really grew up today,” continued Hultquist. “With the match on his shoulders he came through to break at 4-4 and then served it out to win. Cristian beat a very good player on court two and had three ranked wins on the weekend. Michael also had a big finish to close out his match to get his win.”
Wake Forest closed out the match with #56 Maksim Kan defeating Davis (FSU) 7-6 (4), 6-2 on court three to make the final score 4-3.
“The key today was that everyone contributed to the score and put up a fight,” finished Gonzalez Mendez. “We got a win against a team that has been doing well this year. Right now we’re in a good position in the ACCs and have a big weekend coming up.”
Following a 90 minute break, the Seminoles returned to the court to take on Florida A&M. Playing singles first, the team swept the Rattlers while not dropping a set. Taking the court for the first time since mid-February was redshirt-sophomore João Gauer who quickly won 6-0, 6-2 over Jason Ulacio to get the Seminoles on the scoreboard.
Freshman Jake Albo also posted a quick win with a 6-0, 6-1 win on court five over Jalen Evans. Not dropping a beat from his earlier match, Rinaldi came off the courts with another win, this time a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Courage Okungbowa.
Gonzalez Mendez gained a 6-2, 6-1 win over Zack Everden on court two to clinch the match for the Seminoles. Cotrone topped Admire Mushonga 6-0, 6-2 and then Nunez defeated Augustin Waitman 7-6 (3), 6-3 to finish the singles sweep.
The two teams went straight into doubles play with Florida State playing some new pairs. Nunez and Goldin reunited after playing with new partners the last two matches and came away with an 8-3 win. Cotrone and Albo played together for the first time and won 8-2 while Jack Haffey played in his first match since January and came away with an 8-1 win while teamed up with Gauer.
Florida State travels to Virginia Tech and Virginia next weekend. Check back to Seminoles.com for all your information on the men’s tennis team and follow the team at twitter.com/fsu_mtennis.
#41 Florida State 4, #18 Wake Forest 3
1. #20 Romain Bogaerts (WF) def. #122 Dominic Cotrone (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
2. #86 Cristian Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) def. #48 Adam Lee (WF) 6-4, 6-3
3. #56 Maksim Kan (WF) def. Blake Davis (FSU) 7-6 (4), 6-2
4. Jon Ho (WF) def. Marco Nunez (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. Michael Rinaldi (FSU) def. Nicky Kunz (WF) 6-2, 6-3
6. #116 Grayson Goldin (FSU) def. Pedro Dumont (WF) 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
1. #41 Cotrone/Davis (FSU) def. Ho/Lee (WF) 8-3
2. Nunez/Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) def. #58 Bogaerts/Kan (WF) 8-7 (5)
3. Goldin/Rinaldi (FSU) def. Delcore/Laaribi (WF) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5, 2, 1, 4, 6,*, 3)
#41 Florida State 7, Florida A&M 0
1. #122 Dominic Cotrone (FSU) def. Admire Mushonga (FAMU) 6-0, 6-2
2. #86 Cristian Gonzalez Mendez (FSU) def. Zack Everden (FAMU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Marco Nunez (FSU) def. Augustin Waitman (FAMU) 7-6 (3), 6-3
4. Michael Rinaldi (FSU) def. Courage Okungbowa (FAMU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Jake Albo (FSU) def. Jalen Evans (FAMU) 6-0, 6-1
6. João Gauer (FSU) def. Jason Ulacio (FAMU) 6-0, 6-2
1. Nunez/Goldin (FSU) def. Evenden/Mushonga (FAMU) 8-3
2. Cotrone/Albo (FSU) def. Okungbowa/Waitman (FAMU) 8-2
3. Gauer/Jack Haffey (FSU) def. Evans/Ulacio (FAMU) 8-1
Order of finish: Singles (6,5,4,2,1,3); Doubles (3,1,2)