And the BRUINS are goin’ to SEATTLE! (Florida State recap)

(Coach addressing the team after the match.)

Wow, what a match!! I’m back from LATC and first have to say that that was awesome–it’s always exhilarating being in that type of environment that had the feel of an NCAA tournament match. The atmosphere, the intensity, the level of competition, well, it was all there tonight under the lights. This is why as a player, a coach, a fan, you love college tennis because of matches like these.

In order to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championships in Seattle, Washington, we had to beat a very, very good Florida State team who has been there before–and traveled coast to coast to take our spot. In addition, we started around 3:30pm knowing that singles play would conclude under the lights; of course, the “cold” (and I put that in quotations because the Minnesota team would be offended that I called 55 degree weather cold!) may not be pleasing but it is fun having the match end well into the night.

Anyway, with a Indoor bid at stake, the doubles started off exciting and with energy on both sides.  Daniel and Clay at #3 jumped off to a big lead as #1 and #2 were both in dogfights! Eventually, #3 doubles lost their lead and #2 surged ahead behind some incredible doubles play by Alex Brigham and Holden Seguso–maybe not the prettiest or best doubles they have played, but, they competed extremely well and fought and took the doubles match 8-6. Despite going ahead 5-1, the Seminoles caught up to make it 6-all in #3 doubles before Clay and Daniel stepped up again to take the doubles point for the Bruins. And Amit and Adrien were also in a close one and pumped off; the energy was electric and the guys stormed into the Team Room ready to go for singles.

Singles started off quite well, quietly, before the intensity all ramped up. At #6 singles, Senior Holden Seguso led the first wave of Bruin success, leading us out there 6-2 as #5 singles player Adrien Puget also quickly followed suit, winning his first 6-1. At #1, our fearless Freshman Daniel Kosakowski saved a break point at 4-5 to win the first set 6-4 against a top player in FSU’s Clint Bowles.

Tonight’s match was one of those matches that just was two matches in one; Max, Clay and Amit both lost first sets pretty handily and early on, we looked at #1, #5, and #6 to give us our four needed points! Of course, things are never that easy….as the night went on, the pressure increased and the environment gained intensity. Clay match at #4, after losing 0-6, won a VERY tight second set, helping swing the momentum, 7-5, after a controversial call where he accidently yelled a “come on” and the Florida State stopped play. Anyway, he won the set, and Holden gave us a second point after closing out his match.

So we got to 2-1, Adrien fighting in the second set, Daniel steamrolling in the third, and soon, it was 3-1 Bruins…easy right? Well, not quite. Clay was starting a third set, Max had lost at #3, and Adrien was fighting for his life in the second, and Amit was down a set and a break as well. We needed Adrien to win his match or else it would come down to third sets between Clay and Adrien.

Well, our fabulous freshman from France won a HUGE tiebreak 7-4 to clinch the match for the Bruins! I had a chance to catch up with him after the match and he said, frankly, he loved every minute of the pressure. He hadn’t play in a high-pressure match in a while and it was fun–like I said, it is what you live for. People yelling, pumping his chest, knowing that an Indoor birth was on the line, he proved something tonight and clinched the Bruins to victory.

FIRST, I want to thank everyone who came tonight–it was definitely out first “taste” of  a fiery college match against a very good Florida State team. The team is getting ready to have a nice celebratory team dinner this evening in Westwood before taking a well-deserved day off Sunday before it it back to work–mentally, physically, emotionally–on Monday. In addition, it is midterms week for us students, so you can bet tomorrow (and all tonight) I will be locking myself in after spending more hours than I can count at these tennis courts!

Great to see everyone out there and can’t wait to keep you updated as the season goes along–this is great win for the Bruins and an important start to the year! GO BRUINS!!!

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2 Comments on “And the BRUINS are goin’ to SEATTLE! (Florida State recap)”

  1. JERRY Sullivan Says:

    Go Barry and GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!

  2. uclatennis Says:

    Hey! Thanks for reading (and commenting) and more importantly, coming out to support us tonight–it was great seeing you out there! All the support tonight definitely pulled the guys to a victory. GO BRUINS!!! 🙂 🙂


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