Third Annual Military Appreciation Match v. Air Force
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team (4-1) hosts the third annual Military Appreciation match against the Air Force Falcons (4-4) at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a 5:00 p.m. matchup with the Florida A&M Rattlers (0-6). Preceding the match with Air Force, Florida State University president John Thrasher and director of the Florida State University Veterans Center Billy Francis will be on hand to honor Florida State’s student veterans and service members everywhere.
“I think when we first thought about this annual event, playing a service academy, I really didn’t think it was going to take off like this,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “How exciting (it is) to see it in our third year in now, the feedback we’ve had, the bond we’ve had with the community and the student veterans on campus and the military community in general, it’s awesome.”
The Seminoles are 1-0 all-time against the Falcons with the lone meeting coming in 2015. The Noles will look to improve on a 15-0 all-time record over the Rattlers.
This year, the Seminoles will present the Falcons with “challenge coins,” a military gesture to honor achievement and sacrifice, Air Force ROTC will perform the presentation of colors, followed by the national anthem performed by the Seminole Sound band.Video
“I love this event,” senior Daniela Schippers said. “Even though I’m an international, I’ve grown to love this country so much. I wouldn’t be here without everyone that served for this country, so it’s great to be able to give a little bit back.”
Before the match, three FSU student veterans will perform the coin flip on each of the doubles courts before play commences. The event aims to honor student veterans and active service members and their families as Florida State University continues to be one of the most veteran-friendly universities in the nation.
“Without the sacrifices that these men and women put forward, we wouldn’t have the chance to do what we do,” Hyde said. “I wouldn’t have the job I have, these student-athletes wouldn’t have the privileges that they have. It’s amazing for us to have an opportunity to pause and think about it. We owe that courtesy back and it’s the least that we could do for what they do for us.”
Last year, the Seminoles hosted a doubleheader featuring both the men’s and women’s tennis programs. The women swept Navy 7-0 and Florida A&M 4-0, while the men defeated The Citadel 6-2 and Liberty 4-0. Before the matches, the family of Scott Speicher was recognized and the teams exchanged challenge coins as President Thrasher addressed the crowd.
Both matches on Saturday are scheduled to be played out.
As always, admission is free inside the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. In the case of inclement weather, play will be moved to 2566 Pottsdamer Rd, Tallahassee, FL, 32310.
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