Women's Tennis Falls Just Short in NCAA Second Round
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 37 Florida State women's tennis team came up just short of advancing to NCAA Round of 16, falling 4-2 to the No. 11 Auburn Tigers (25-10, 5-8 SEC) in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Seminoles end the year with a 17-12 record, the most wins in a season since 2009.
For the second straight match, the doubles point came down to a tiebreak on court one. While this time the tiebreak was a little more competitive, Julia Mikulski and Andrea Garcia toughed out a 7-6(8-6) victory over Auburn's No. 14 Alizee Michaud/Taylor Russoto clinch the doubles point. The victory is the highest-ranked win and the third ranked doubles win on the year for the pair.
On court three doubles, Gabriella Castaneda and Daniela Schippers earned their 16th doubles victory as a pair this season 7-5 over No. 64 Georgie Axon/Caroline Turner, while Nandini Das and Ariana Rahmanparast suffered a rare loss 6-4 on court two.
In singles, the Seminoles continued to press the Tigers, taking first set leads on courts one, three, five, and six.
On their home courts, the Auburn team was able to rally from the early deficit and eventually turn the tide later in the match.
After trading points on courts two and six to put the Seminoles up 2-1, Auburn's No. 155 Taylor Russo defeated Mikulski 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 on court three to tie the match at 2-2.
The pivotal point the match came on court one, with Castaneda leading by a set and locked in a second set with No. 17 Alizee Michaud.
Michaud went up 3-0 in the tiebreak, but Castaneda battled back to even it up. The two traded points all the way to 8-8, but Michaud was able to take the set 7-6(8) to prevent Florida State from taking a 3-2 lead.
After holding off match point on court one, Auburn's Alannah Griffin defeated Garcia in a third set on court five 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Schippers lead 5-3 in the second set on court four, but fell 7-5, 7-5 on court four to end the match at 4-2.
The team fought has hard in this match as they have all season long, taking the doubles point and putting themselves in position to win, but it was not to be on the day. Overall, the team ends the year with the most wins in a season under head coach Jennifer Hyde in the last eight seasons, and earned a win in the NCAA Championship First Round after missing out on the tournament each of the last two seasons.
With only one departing senior and returning six total contributors to the lineup, this young team is primed for even more breakthroughs in the 2017-18 campaign.
Head coach Jennifer Hyde
“This team has battled relentlessly all year. I don't think I've been lucky enough to coach a team up and down the line that fights like this. I've had a lot of great teams in the history of the program, but this team is best group of fighters that I've ever been blessed to work with.”
“The doubles point was huge- that's twenty doubles points on the year for us. It was incredible.”
“I think (the fight) started in doubles and didn't stop until the match was over. They competed unbelievably well again just like they have all semester. This team knows that when they are competing together they are nearly unstoppable. Today we just came up a little short against Auburn.”
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#11 Auburn 4, #37 Florida State 2
1. #17 Alizee Michaud (AU) vs. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 2-0, unfinished
2. #29 Andie Dikosavljevic (AU) def. Nandini Das (FSU) 6-1, 6-2
3. #115 Taylor Russo (AU) def. Julia Mikulski (FSU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1
4. Georgie Axon (AU) def. Daniela Schippers (FSU) 7-5, 7-5
5. Alannah Griffin (AU) def. Andrea Garcia (FSU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) def. Caroline Turner (AU) 6-3, 6-2
Florida State 17-12 (6-5 ACC); National ranking #37
Auburn 25-10 (5-8 SEC); National ranking #11
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,6,3,5,4)
Match played outdoors