Jan. 28, 2012
Florida State used a quick start in doubles and three tie-break wins in the first sets of singles to down Rice 5-2 in the opening round of competition at the ITA National Indoor Qualifier at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco on Saturday.
The 37th ranked Owls (2-3) will play New Mexico State in a consolation match at 3 p.m. on Sunday, while #42 FSU (7-0) will face host Baylor at the same time for the right to advance to the ITA Indoor National Championships.
"The best thing about the match was the way we rebounded from the bad start in doubles," Rice assistant coach Efe Ustundag said. "We were in a good position to win five first sets, which after playing doubles for only 38 minutes, was an impressive turnaround on its own. But we were not able to close them out. "
The Seminoles quickly grabbed the doubles point by virtue of winning 16 of 17 games at #2 & 3 doubles. But the Owls righted themselves from that early blitz at the start of singles play. Three of the matches went to tie breakers, only to see FSU prevail in each match.
Senior Sam Garforth-Bles was the only Owl to win his opening set, but had to bounce back from a loss in the second to give the Owls their first point of the day. Junior Harry Fowler rebounded from a loss in his opening set to close out the match with the Owls second win of the day at #1 singles.
"It was good to see how Harry and Sam came back after going winless last weekend," Ustundag said. "But we have to go back tonight and get ourselves ready to come back and play New Mexico State tomorrow."