Feb. 1, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. - Six days after the season was scheduled to start, the Florida State women's tennis squad finally got things underway with a perfect 7-0 victory over Rice Friday night. The Seminoles swept the Owls in both doubles and singles in front of a home crowd at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
"It's good to have our first win under our belts after our first home match," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "The girls did what they needed to do, they were focused on the task at hand, but we definitely identified some things that we have to work on in the next couple weeks as we start getting into the meat of our schedule."
Florida State paired off by class in doubles, with the freshmen Katie Rybakova and Federica Suess notching the Seminoles' first victory in an 8-2 defeat of the Owls' Emily Braid and Varsha Shiva-Shankar 8-2. Sophomores Jessica Wente and Lauren Macfarlane secured the doubles point for the Seminoles with an 8-5 victory over Tiffany Lee and Rebecca Lin. In the final match, seniors Carolin Walter and Tapiwa Marobela held on for a close 8-7 finish over Rice's Julie Chao and Dominique Karas with a 7-5 tiebreaker.
In the singles competition, Macfarlane set to work and gave FSU its second point of the match with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Karas. Junior Ania Rynarzewska put FSU up 3-0 over the Owls as she defeated Braid 6-2, 6-3.
The match-clinching fourth point came in the toughest match of the night as Wente fought back from an 0-5 start in her first set against Christine Dao to force a tie-breaker. In an agonizing battle, Wente powered herself to an 11-9 victory in the breaking point to secure a 7-6 win in the first set. The match was so exhausting, Wente's opponent was forced to retire up 1-0 in the second set, allowing Wente to secure the Seminoles' first team victory of 2008.
"Jessica is nails when she plays from behind--she does not quit," said Hyde. "She just does a great job of competing. She competes so hard, she wants to win so bad."
Florida State finished out the singles competition with three more wins, allowing the Seminoles to get the season off to a perfect start. The team will try to keep its unbeaten streak alive Sunday when Illinois and Stetson come to Tallahassee for a double-header starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.