Feb. 8, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The lights were bright and cameras were focused on the No. 27 Florida State women's tennis team and the `Noles didn't disappoint as they secured wins over LSU, 4-1, as part of USTA's College MatchDay and a 7-0 victory over Mercer.
"They did great. We competed unbelievably well and we knew we were going to have to do that against LSU," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "It is really cool to put them out there and see them really take care of their own courts and take care of business. We got up on a couple of first sets right away and that set the tone. I think that it is really nice to get a lead when playing a team like that. They did a great job and I am really proud of their effort."
For College MatchDay the format was changed to have singles play first and have doubles play only in the event of a tie at 3-3. The `Noles broke out to early leads and posted first set wins on five of the six courts. Mia Vriens made quick work of Ella Taylor, winning in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. It marked her sixth singles win in a row, and third win of 2013-14 when surrendering a game or fewer.
Kerrie Cartwright and Daneika Borthwick made it 3-0 Florida State with straight set victories on courts two and one, respectively. LSU's lone point came from court five as Abigail Owens outlasted Laurence Porry in a tight match, 6-3, 6-4.
"It is always important to get a good lead against a team like LSU," said Borthwick "Especially with ESPN here there was a bit more added pressure so it was good that the girls got out to a lead early on. [Having ESPN cover the match] was something we've never had before. So it was really good for us to experience that. And good for college tennis in general to try and get that exposure and things like that."
Freshman Daniela Schippers clinched the match on court three with a very strong performance over Gabrielle Otero. Schippers dominated on the Lady Tigers' serve, ending the match winning 15 straight points off of Otero's serve. It was Schippers' third time to clinch or finish a match for the Seminoles this season.
"It was so much fun," said Schippers. "We were really excited. From the beginning the band was awesome and we had prepared really well for this. I think we all had lots of fun today going out and competing hard. I think I gave a good fight and that's what gave me the result.
"The band was brilliant. Having them here was so good," added Hyde. "If that doesn't inspire you to get out and get after it, I don't know what does. They were awesome along with everyone's big effort to make this happen this weekend with College MatchDay. I think it has been a huge success and I'm glad we were able to be a part of it and I hope we get a chance to do it again down the road."
Florida State cruised to an easy 7-0 victory over the Mercer Bears behind a doubles point sweep by the pairs of Majlena Pedersen/Mia Vriens and Kristina Schleich/Daniela Schippers. Freshmen Duda Santos (6-4, 6-1) and Majlena Pedersen (6-3, 6-3) each secured their first singles match wins of the spring season.
The Seminoles are back on court on February 15 for matches against UCF at 9:30 a.m. and against Florida A&M at 3:00 p.m. Both matches will be held at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.