We are now in the thick of ACC Basketball season at Florida State, as both Leonard Hamilton and Sue Semrau's squads are battling for first place in the ACC and trying to cement their spots in the NCAA Tournament. It is sure to be another nail-biting two months of basketball at the Tucker Center.
And spring 2010 season is quickly approaching with each passing day. Currently, we are just one month away from the beginning of Softball season, men's and women's tennis begin this week, and before you know it, it will be time for first pitch at Dick Howser Stadium.
In the coming weeks, Seminoles.com will have complete previews for each team as we look ahead to what should be one of the most exciting spring seasons in recent history.
But for now, here is a quick look ahead for the spring 2010 season in part one of our two-part series: Baseball, Softball, Men's Tennis, and Women's Tennis.
It has often been said that Florida State Baseball has the best fans in the country, and for those 6,700 'Noles who fill the stands at Dick Howser Stadium, first pitch on February 19th against Georgia State can't come quickly enough.
Head Coach Mike Martin begins his 31st season as the Seminoles' head coach, and the 2010 team looks to make another run at the College World Series in the final year of the legendary Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb.
The Seminoles return some of the biggest stars from last season, including gold glove winner and All-American Tyler Holt, freshman All-American and first team All-ACC Sean Gilmartin, and All-Americans Mike McGee and Stephen Cardullo. In addition, the entire weekend pitching rotation returns, featuring Gilmartin, McGee, and sophomore Brian Busch. Mix in another talented freshman class, and the 2010 Seminoles should be an exciting team to keep an eye on during the spring.
It will be another fun home schedule for the 'Noles, who welcome ACC foes Miami and Virginia to Tallahassee, along with the University of Georgia in early March.
Second-year head coach Lonni Alameda led the Seminoles to the ACC title game during the 2009 season, and fans should be excited for what the Seminoles have in store during 2010.
After enjoying their most successful ACC regular season in school history, the 'Noles return their entire pitching staff, including ACC Pitcher of the Year Sarah Hamilton and second team All-ACC Terese Gober. Senior captain Carly Wynn returns in the outfield, and transfers Tory Haddad and Jen Lapicki should make an immediate impact for Coach Alameda's team.
In addition, Georgia High School Player of the Year Morgan Bullock leads an exceptional freshmen class that will be great at Florida State for years to come.
The season starts for the 'Noles on February 11th against Southern Miss.
After making their second consecutive round of 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Dwayne Hultquist's squad returns to the courts this Friday down in Naples, Fla. The Seminoles return ACC Player of the Year Jean-Yves Aubone and South Region Champion Clint Bowles to their lineup. Senior Vahid Mirzadeh rounds out the top-3 in the 'Noles lineup that should be one of the most formidable units in the nation.
Heralded freshman Connor Smith will also make his debut this spring for the Seminoles, as he came out of high school ranked No. 1 in Florida and No. 2 in the nation. Freshmen Andres Bucaro and Anderson Reed will also be counted on to help fill the void left by Maciek Sykut, Chris Cloer, and Drew Bailey from the 2009 squad.
"In my coaching career, this is the deepest team and most talent team we've had," head coach Jennifer Hyde said in regards to her 2010 Seminoles.
And after losing only one senior from last year's team, the 'Noles have veteran leadership mixed with freshman talent that should make this year's team fun to watch. Coach Hyde's team begins the season with the highest preseason ranking in school history at No. 15, and seniors Lauren McCreless and Jessica Sucupira anchor a team that should compete to be one of the ACC's dominant teams.
Along with junior Katie Rybakova and sophomore Noemie Scharle, freshmen Francesca Segarelli and Amy Sargeant will be looked upon to make an immediate contribution. The 'Noles begin play this Saturday at UCF.