January 15th, 2015
Tallahassee Tennis Blog: Seminole Men Kick Off 2015 Season Including ESPN Coverage
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The Florida State men’s tennis team, ranked #35, opened its 2015 season by defeating South Alabama 4-1 in the first match of the Seminole Tournament held at Scott Speicher Tennis Center in Tallahassee on January 10 – 11.
In addition to South Alabama, the tournament featured #66 ranked Louisiana-Lafayette, #70 University of Central Florida (UCF), #71 St. Johns, #72 North Florida, Denver, and Furman.
This season, FSU is led by its only senior, Christian Gonzalez Mendez, who was ranked as high as #65 in his junior year. He is joined by Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez, who together are ranked #24 in the nation in doubles, and who just came off an impressive win at the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Championship in Orlando back in November. Although Lock and Nunez lost at the #1 position in doubles in the Seminole Tournament, Lock achieved redemption by beating South Alabama’s #113th ranked player Daniel Leitner in straight sets.
Adding to the team this year is junior Michael Rinaldi and sophomore Jake Albo who posted impressive wins in the tournament. Several players, including true freshmen Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst, and redshirt freshman Jose Garcia, saw their first collegiate play. The Whitehurst twins had wins at both doubles and singles in the first two rounds of the tournament as well as a win in doubles at the #3 position in the finals against Denver, who beat Furman and North Florida in the earlier rounds.
Garcia won in singles against St. Johns and teamed with Cristian Gonzalez Nunez to win in doubles. FSU, who had never faced Denver prior to the tournament, went on to win 4-1 in the finals. The victory was the 14th consecutive season opening win by the Florida State Seminoles, lifting Coach Dwayne Hultquist’s opening record to 15 and 1.
The Noles are proud to announce that they will have five dual matches broadcast on ESPN3 this spring with hopes to boost support of the program.
“We are thrilled to see college tennis and Florida State move in a bold direction,” said head coach Dwayne Hultquist. In addition, the new ITA format for Division I college tennis changed this season to no-ad scoring and a 6-game set for doubles as opposed to an 8-game set in an effort to grow the sport and increase exposure throughout the country through more TV coverage.
The Lady Noles are scheduled to open their spring season by playing in the Alabama Invitation in Tuscaloosa on January 17 – 19. The Noles enter their season ranked #30 nationally.