Benjamin Lock and the ´Noles stomped Miami Friday afternoon, 7-0.

Florida State Tennis

by Federico Coppini
Benjamin Lock and the ´Noles stomped Miami Friday afternoon, 7-0.

Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State won 7-0 over Miami Friday afternoon at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. The win for the Seminoles (17-6, 5-3 ACC) capped a five-match home stretch that saw FSU go 4-1 overall and 3-1 against ACC competition.

The loss for the Hurricanes dropped Miami’s record to 7-11 and 1-6 in the ACC. The Seminoles opened the match by dominating the doubles point, led by 30th-ranked Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez. The pair won for their fourth consecutive match, defeating the Canes Kevin Bondar and Wilfredo Gonzalez, 8-3.

Twin brothers Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst, from Tallahassee, secured the other doubles match with an 8-2 win on Ct. 3 over Bernard Tefel and Henrique Tsukamoto. The win was the Whitehurst’s team-high 13th of the spring.

“I liked that we jumped on them early in the doubles,” head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “It wasn’t just one break, it was multiple, and we took control of that. We dominated to win at one and three.

We’re starting to gain momentum and that’s a bunch of matches in a row that we’ve won the doubles point, and we’re gaining confidence.” In singles, the Seminoles dropped only one set across six courts.

Nunez, a junior who had played primarily on Ct. 2 throughout the season, was dropped to Ct. 3 and dominated Tsukamoto, 6-2, 6-4, to push the Seminole advantage to 2-0. Soon after, redshirt freshman Jose Gracia won 6-4, 6-4 on Ct.

5 over Tefel. The clincher came on Ct. 6 from Terrell Whitehurst, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Niclas Genovese. It was Whitehurst’s team-leading fifth clincher this season. “I liked how we came out in singles,” Hultquist said.

“Marco jumped out quick, while Jose was in the middle and Terrell came from behind to all win. We were quickly up breaks on three or four of the courts and got five first sets. We established control of the match at that stage.” After the match was clinched, senior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez won on Ct.

4, 6-3, 6-4, while No. 106 Lock won on Ct. 1, 6-4, 6-4. The lone set victory for the Hurricanes came on Ct. 2, when Wilfredo Gonzalez won the first set against No. 90 Michael Rinaldi. Rinaldi rallied to win the second set before taking the third-set tiebreaker and the match, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (4).

The win was the sixth consecutive for the ‘Noles over the Hurricanes and brings Hultquist’s career mark against the Canes to 14-5 in 16 seasons. Before Hultquist arrived in Tallahassee, the Seminoles had an all-time record of 5-41 against Miami.

It was also only the second 7-0 shutout this season and first against an ACC opponent at home since blanking Clemson in 2010. It was the second straight shutout of the Hurricanes, the first coming in last season’s ACC Tournament first round, a 4-0 win.

Friday’s tilt caps a five-match home stand that saw the Seminoles go 4-1 overall and 2-1 against ranked competition. With two matches remaining in the home schedule, the ‘Noles are 13-2 in Tallahassee. “It was a good home stand; we’ve been very good at home all year,” Hultquist said.

“Tonight was an awesome environment with a lot of people here. Our VIP section was full and we had a crowd from the Special Olympics of Florida. We have a very good home court advantage when we have things humming properly, and tonight it was.” FSU hits the courts again Friday, April 10, in Raleigh, N.C., against North Carolina State.

The Wolfpack are currently ranked 34th in the ITA poll. FSU also faces No. 5 Duke in Durham next Sunday.

Benjamin Lock