No. 2 Texas powers past No. 11 Florida State, 4-2
Longhorns navigate through lengthy rain delay with four singles wins.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – No. 2 Texas (2-0) fought through a slow start and a lengthy rain delay to notch four singles wins and post a 4-2 victory over No. 11 Florida State (2-2) Saturday at FSU’s Speicher Tennis Center.
With the threat of inclement weather in the Tallahassee area, the teams agreed to begin the match with singles play rather than doubles. The Longhorns surrendered four first sets to the Seminoles before rain interrupted play and ultimately delayed the re-start for nearly four hours.
Texas sophomore Kellen Damico, however, took his first set against Florida State’s Vahid Mirzadeh at third singles and went on to register a 6-3, 6-3 win after play resumed to stake UT to a 1-0 lead. Texas senior Miguel Reyes Varela also closed out his match in straight sets, as he posted a 6-4, 6-4 win over FSU’s Chris Cloer at fifth singles.
The Seminoles got on the board at second singles, where Clint Bowles knocked off Texas sophomore Ed Corrie by a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 count. UT junior All-American Dimitar Kutrovsky, one of the four Longhorns to suffer a first-set defeat, rallied for a hard-fought victory at first singles, as he tallied a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Florida State’s 30th-ranked Jean-Yves Aubone to extend the Texas lead to 3-1.
Texas junior Olivier Sajous dropped his first set at fourth singles to Maciek Sykut before taking the second set, 6-4, to force an additional set. Sykut outlasted Sajous 6-4 in the third set to bring the Seminoles within 3-2. Texas junior Josh Zavala had dropped his first set at sixth singles, but he regrouped after the rain delay to force Florida State’s Drew Bailey to a third set. For the second time in as many matches, Zavala provided the match-clinching point for Texas, as he took the final set, 6-3, to give Texas a 4-2 advantage.
With the match’s outcome in hand, the teams elected not to proceed with doubles play.
“This was a really, really hard-fought win,” UT coach Michael Center said. “Florida State came out and jumped all over us. We had the rain delay and I feel like we regrouped, came back and became more aggressive. I give Florida State a lot of credit, but I’m really proud of our guys for the way they fought back today.”
Texas resumes play on Saturday, Jan. 30 in its home opener against UC-Santa Barbara.