Women's Tennis Upsets ASU to Advance to NCAA Second Round
AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 37 Florida State women's tennis team (17-11, 8-7 ACC) upset the No. 26 Arizona State Sun Devils (14-8, 7-3 Pac-12) 4-2 on Friday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championship. The Seminoles will now face the winner of host No. 11 Auburn and DePaul at 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday.
The doubles point came down to a tiebreak on court one, in which Julia Mikulski and Andrea Garcia cruised in the tiebreak to win 7-6(7-1) victory to clinch the doubles point over No. 68 Nicole Fossa-Huergo/Alexandra Osborne of Arizona State. Mikulski/Garcia surrendered a 5-0 lead but were able to rally to clinch the point.
On court two doubles, Nandini Das and Ariana Rahmanparast were locked in a battle the whole set, but pulled away to win 6-4. Daniela Schippers and Gabriella Castaneda suffered just their second doubles loss of the season 2-6 on court three.
In singles play, Castaneda and Das jumped out to set leads on courts one and two over ranked opponents for the Sun Devils to help take control of the match.
Arizona State took a 2-1 lead with wins on court three and five, but the Seminoles did not waver as the courts began to close out.
On court one, Castaneda earned her 50th-career singles victory, defeating No. 50 Kassidy Jump 6-2, 7-6(6) in a second set tiebreak to draw the match even at 2-2.
Das followed with a second set tiebreak of her own, defeating No. 108 Sammi Hampton 6-3, 7-6(4) to give the Seminoles a 3-2 lead. The victory is the first career ITA-ranked singles win for the freshman who has played well on court two all season long.
With the lead in hand, Rahmanparast lead 5-2 in the second set looking to clinch the match. ASU's Gussie O'Sullivan fought back to close the set at 5-4, but Rahmanparast held steady to win 7-5, 6-4 to clinch the team's first NCAA win in three seasons.
Schippers trailed Nicole Fossa-Huergo 4-6, 6-3, 5-3 in the third set on court four when Florida State clinched the 4-2 victory.
The win marks Florida State's first in the NCAA Championship since the 2014 season, when the Seminoles upset the Arizona Wildcats in the opening round of the tournament. The Seminoles have the made the tournament nine of the last 11 seasons, including eight in a row from 2007-2014 under head coach Jennifer Hyde, Florida State's all-time winningest coach.
The Seminoles will now face the winner of No. 11 Auburn and DePaul in the NCAA Second Round tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST. Florida State is 17-4 all-time against the Auburn Tigers.
Head coach Jennifer Hyde
“It was a complete team effort today. The thing with this team is that when we're in a situation when we're competing, we're unbelievably dangerous. When we're in pressure situations, we're unbelievably dangerous, and we've been in pressure situations for the last two and half months. To have our backs against the wall is very common and we're comfortable with it. Not only are they comfortable with it, they thrive in that setting. I just couldn't be more proud of them- it was a complete team effort.”
“It feels really good to advance- beating anyone is a great day at the office, but to knock off an esteemed program like Arizona State who has been in this tournament 35 years straight speaks volumes for the state of our program and for these young ladies who have just given everything in them. I've been telling them, ‘all it takes is all you've got,' and they left it all out there today. I just couldn't be more proud.”
Senior Daniela Schippers
“I think that the girls were just amazing competitors today. From doubles on, they were enjoying the moment and they were present. They just competed hard. There were so many hurdles that were passed today. It was huge for Gabby- she has had a hard season with injuries and everything, and she was just amazing at the top spot. I'm incredibly happy for her because that's just so big. She stuck around all season and she came through in the biggest match so far.”
“Nandini also pulled through in the tiebreak. There were such tough matches and we just outcompeted them. Arizona State has really good players. Even the spots that we lost, we were competing hard. Ariana is such a solid spot for us, she's consistent and she did a great job (clinching the match.) Me personally, I think they trust me to hang in there. I think if I was needed, I would've done my best to pull through. The team had each other's back today and were competitors.”
Watch NCAA Second Round match vs. Auburn/DePaul here:
For more information on Florida State tennis, check out:
#37 Florida State 4, #26 Arizona State 2
1. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) def. #50 Kassidy Jump (ASU) 6-2, 7-6 (8-6)
2. Nandini Das (FSU) def. #108 Sammi Hampton (ASU) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4)
3. #124 Kelley Anderson (ASU) def. Julia Mikulski (FSU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Nicole Fossa-Huergo (ASU) vs. Daniela Schippers (FSU) 6-4, 3-6, 5-3, unfinished
5. Savannah Slaysman (ASU) def. Andrea Garcia (FSU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) def. Gussie O'Sullivan (ASU) 7-6, 6-4
Florida State 17-11 (6-5 ACC); National ranking #37
Arizona State 14-8 (7-3 PAC 12); National ranking #26
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,5,1,2,6)
Match played outdoors
Official: Chris Rodger