TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Seminoles had a goal of starting the season 6-0 and accomplished that Monday. The Florida State men’s tennis team (6-0) spent the day at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center to come away with a 5-2 win over No. 35 South Alabama and a 7-0 victory over Bethune-Cookman.
“We’ve had a pretty long day, in three days some of our guys have played eight matches, four singles and four doubles,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “It’s been a good preseason for us. Heading into the ITA Kick-Off we wanted to be 6-0. We did that. We wanted to win in convincing fashions, which we did except against South Alabama. I thought they played very well this morning and pushed us. They have a good team and program.”
To start the day, the Seminoles battled it out with South Alabama in singles. No. 107 sophomore Dominic Cotrone started the day out with a win as he topped Grhard Gruindelingh 6-0, 6-0 on court one. The Jaguars tied the match at 1-1 when Daniel Leitner topped senior Jordan Kelly-Houston 6-2, 6-2. Sophomore Cristian Gonzalez Mendez let the Seminoles take the lead with a 6-0, 6-4 win on court five over Shayann Vaezzadeh.
Senior Andres Bucaro made the score 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Blake Gregor on court six. Clinching his third match in a row was senior Anderson Reed who won on court four over Cody Hall 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
In doubles play, the Seminoles swept all three courts as Bucaro and sophomore Benjamin Lock won 8-7 (7-3), while Cotrone and freshman Michael Rinaldi won 8-3. Redshirt-freshman João Gauer and junior Blake Davis won 8-4.
In the afternoon, the teams returned to the courts for a match against Bethune-Cookman for the first time in school history. Reed and Kelly-Houston teamed up to get an 8-4 win on court two over Diego Garavito and Santiago Lobelo. Cotrone and Rinaldi went 8-2 against Kip Jackson and Gilbert Kibet on court three.
After winning the doubles point, the Seminoles took a quick lead in singles and ended up not dropping a set. Getting off the courts first for the Seminoles was Gonzalez Mendez, who is now 3-0 on the season. He did not drop a game against Jackson as he won 6-0, 6-0 on court four.
“It was great to go 2-0 as a team and as an individual today,” said Gonzalez Mendez. We are very excited to start the season 6-0 before we leave for Pepperdine because that was one of our goals. It was great to get back out onto the courts this weekend. We have two days of practice before we leave for California and we plan on working hard to qualify for the National Indoors.”
Reed won the next match with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Seve Day on court three. Cotrone defeated Leonardo Lima 6-0, 6-0 on court one. Cotrone did not lose a game today and won 24 straight games. No. 99 Lock defeated Juan Varon on court two. Davis made his singles debut for the season and won 6-1, 6-4 on court five against Gilbert Kibet. Rinaldi closed out the day with a 6-3, 6-1 win on court four over Santiago Lobelo.