As a strong wind blew through Tallahassee, the University of Miami men’s tennis team fell on the road to an in-state rival for the second straight weekend.
No. 16 Florida State beat the 24th-ranked Hurricanes 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Scott Specicher Tennis Center.
The Canes (4-4, 1-1) fell behind 1-0 early, when they were swept, 8-3, in all three doubles matches. The Seminoles (10-4, 1-0) extended their lead to 3-0 with wins at the first and fourth positions, before Miami rallied with three straight points in singles.
“I knew we were kind of struggling in a couple of the matches,” FSU head coach Dwayne Hultquist said. “I actually made a comment to my two assistant coaches when we were up 3-0 that I felt it was important for Maciek [Sykut] to win. There were five three-setters, and we’ve had a lot of really tight matches the last few years.”
No. 96 Carl Sundberg and sophomore Christian Blocker each held on after winning their first sets to take down their opponents in three sets. Blocker upset No. 55 Clint Bowles, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, for his third victory of the spring.
Sophomore Keith Crowley rallied from a loss in the first set to take his match 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Freshman Ignacio Taboada, who had not lost a singles match until last weekend against the Gators, took the first set, 6-4, before dropping the next two, 7-5, 6-3, for the deciding point in the match, in the third position.
Senior Daniel Vallverdu failed to return from a pectoral strain he suffered at the ITA Indoor National Championships back in November. Newcomer Blocker had taken the first position in his absence, with senior David Rosenfeld out with an injury as well.
Last weekend at Florida, in his first competition of the season, Vallverdu played doubles with Sundberg and lost 8-2.
Rosenfeld fell 6-1, 3-6, 2-6 to No. 19 Jean-Yves Aubone and junior David Simon lost in the only straight-sets match, 6-0, 6-1.
Miami returns home to take on No. 54 Georgia Tech (4-4) at noon Saturday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Miami head coach Mario Rincon said. “They came back strong, after losing the doubles point. Christian played an outstanding singles match for us today, while Keith and Carl got solid wins too. We will get back to work on Tuesday and get ready for a great challenge against Georgia Tech.”