Florida State 4, Kentucky 2

May 15, 2005

LEXINGTON, Ky. Kentucky seniors Jesse Witten and Tigran Martirosyan each scored their second singles victories in as many days, but Florida State proved to be too much on Sunday, as the Seminoles dealt the 12th-seeded Cats a 4-2 defeat in an NCAA regional final at UKs Boone Tennis Complex. UK suffers its third regional-final loss in as many seasons and ends the 2005 slate at 21-10.

Florida State jumped to a quick start in doubles play, as the Seminoles 40th-ranked tandem of Ytai Abougzir and Mat Cloer scored an 8-3 victory at the second position over UKs Matt Emery and Marcus Sundh. Kentuckys Nate Emge and Alex Hume fell behind 3-0 against Jonathas Sucipira and Chip Webb at the No. 3 position, but claimed the next four games to take a 4-3 lead. The Cats and Seminoles exchanged service breaks until Hume held in the 10th game to give UK a 6-4 lead. Emge and Hume managed to hold service the rest of the way to win by an 8-6 margin.

UKs Martirosyan and Witten slowly worked their back into contention at No. 1 after trailing 3-0 and eventually took an 8-7 lead. The Seminoles Chris Westerhof and Jeff Groslimond answered and tied the match to force a tiebreaker. Kentucky held two match points, but they were nullified by a Martirosyan return into the net and a Witten forehand that landed just beyond the baseline. UK saved one Seminole match point, but Florida State converted on the next to earn the crucial doubles point.

Witten evened the tally at one with another impressive effort at first singles. Witten claimed the first set against FSUs 26th-ranked Cloer, 6-2. After failing to hold service early in the second set, the native Floridian recovered to take the set and the match, 7-5. Martirosyan put the Cats on top with a solid 6-2, 6-1 win over FSUs Chris Westerhof at the No. 4 slot.

UKs Emery, in what proved to be his last match playing for his father, Dennis, dropped his first set against Jonathas Sucipira, 6-3. Sucipira produced a service break early on in the second set, but Emery later recovered to force a second-set tiebreak. Sucipira emerged from the tiebreaker for the win, tying the match at two apiece.

FSUs Abougzir put the Seminoles on top for good, defeating UKs Hume, 7-5, 6-3 at the second position. UKs Sundh rallied from a one-set deficit at No. 6 to force a third set, but FSUs Chip Webb prevailed in the end, winning the final set, 6-3, to clinch the Seminole victory. UKs Nate Emge held a 4-3 third-set lead over Jeff Groslimond at the third slot, but the match was suspended with the outcome in hand.

No. 18 Florida State 4, No. 12 Kentucky 2

1. Westernhof/Groslimond (FSU) def. #6 Martirosyan/Witten (UK) - 9-8(8)
2. #40 Abougzir/Cloer (FSU) def. Emery/Sundh (UK) - 8-3
3. Emge/Hume (UK) def. Sucupira/Webb (FSU) - 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1

1. #3 Jesse Witten (UK) def. #26 Mat Cloer (FSU) - 6-2, 7-5
2. Ytai Abougzir (FSU) def. Alex Hume (UK) - 7-5, 6-3
3. Nate Emge (UK) vs. Jeff Groslimond (FSU) - DNF

4. Tigran Martirosyan (UK) def. Chris Westerhof (FSU) - 6-2, 6-1
5. Jonathas Sucupira (FSU) def. Matt Emery (UK) - 6-3, 7-6(2)
6. Chip Webb (FSU) def. Marcus Sundh (UK) - 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 1, 4, 5, 2, 6

-- Courtesy Kentucky