Men's Tennis Upsets No. 18 Florida State, 5-2
March 29, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State men’s tennis team won its fourth ACC match of the season, upsetting 18th-ranked Florida State, 5-2, Friday afternoon at the Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium. The Wolfpack (11-6, 4-1 ACC) earned a hard-fought doubles point, before winning four of six singles matches.
“I’m really happy for the guys,” said head coach Jon Choboy. “I think it was a real good team effort and coming back to win the second set in several matches really kept the pressure on them.”
The Seminoles (14-5, 2-2 ACC) claimed the first win of the day in doubles play as Dominic Cotrone and Blake Davis defeated the Wolfpack duo of Beck Bond and Austin Powell at the No. 3 spot, 8-2. The Wolfpack countered with a win at No. 1 doubles to even the count at one match apiece. Dave Thomson and Sean Weber, ranked 16th in the latest ITA poll, won an 8-6 decision over FSU’s 45th-ranked combo of Andres Bucaro and Benjamin Lock.
With the point riding on the No. 2 doubles match, the teams found themselves in a seesaw battle in which neither duo could break serve. NC State’s Robbie Mudge and Thomas Weigel traded points with Jordan Kelly-Houston and Anderson Reed, forcing the match into a tiebreaker. The Wolfpack tandem prevailed in the tiebreaker, 7-4, to claim the win 9-8 (4) and clinch the doubles point.
The Pack has won the doubles point in seven consecutive matches and is 9-2 on the season when winning the doubles competition.
Weber claimed the only straight-set singles win of the day, cruising past FSU’s Christian Gonzalez Mendez, 6-4, 6-4. The win gave the Pack a 2-0 overall match lead. Florida State answered with its first win of the day as Reed topped Weigel, 1-6, 7-5, 6-0.
NC State followed with wins at the one, two and three singles spots to extend its lead to 5-1. The Wolfpack dropped the first set in each of the matches, but rose to the challenge of winning the second and third sets.
“You play the first set to figure out how to win the next two and that’s what our guys did today,” said assistant coach Mat Cloer. “They kept battling and it came down to who wanted it more and the guys executed.”
Powell lost the first set of his match to 122nd-ranked Cotrone, 6-4, but rebounded to win the second set, 7-5, before winning the final set in dominating fashion, 6-1. The win improved Powell’s current winning streak to seven matches and his dual match record to 10-7.
“I knew every point was important and I wanted to do my best to bring home my point,” said Powell. “I’ve been approaching matches with a mental mindset of not getting too high or too low, but just staying composed throughout the match and it’s really helped me.”
At No. 3 singles, Thomson dropped the opening set to Kelly-Houston, 6-1, before winning the second and third sets, 6-4, 6-4, to clinch the overall match. With the win, the senior extends his match winning streak to four.
“My opponent came out really hot in the first set, but I just stuck with my game plan that’s been working,” said Thomson. “I just kept doing what I’ve been doing and believed in my game. I wanted to make him work hard for every point and I made some good shots in the third set to clinch the win.”
Mudge added another win for the Pack at the No. 2 singles spot defeating Lock in three sets. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native dropped the first set, 6-3, but would not be denied in the final two sets, winning, 6-2, 6-2. Bond dropped the final match of the evening at No. 5 singles to Michael Rinaldi, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
The Wolfpack returns to action at home Sunday, March 31, versus the Miami Hurricanes at noon.
Tennis Match Results
#38 NC State 5, #18 Florida State 2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,4,1,3,2,5)