April 19, 2008
Altamonte Springs, Fla.- They made history just by appearing in the third round of the ACC Championships, but the No. 19 Florida State Seminoles (18-7, 8-6) could not hold on to ink another page in the record books this year. Despite the team's best efforts, the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils (18-3, 11-2) won the semi-final match 4-2, ending the Seminoles' run at the 2008 ACC Women's Tennis Championships in Altamonte Springs, Fla. at Sanlando Park.
Once again, the weight of the match fell on the shoulders of senior Tapiwa Marobela. After losing her first set 6-2, the Seminole veteran made a valiant effort to come back and win the second set to pro-long FSU's chances at a win. But Duke's Amanda Granson was relentless and in the end, after three long days of tennis, Marobela could not hold out as she surrendered her last set on court five 6-4 to give Duke the team win.
"Today was a tough day for the team," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "I have to give credit to Duke though. They came out very strong in singles and played some very good tennis."
Florida State started the match on top as they secured the doubles point with two big victories. Senior Carolin Walter and freshman Federica Suess defeated Duke's Jessi Robinson and Tory Zawacki 8-3 on court two before junior Ania Rynarzewksa and freshman Katie Rybakova fell 8-5 to the No. 3 doubles duo in the country, Granson and Melissa Mang. But sophomores Jessica Wente and Lauren Macfarlane fired back to win a tough 9-7 match on court three and put the Seminoles ahead going into singles.
Rybakova pulled out a huge singles victory on court one over Duke's top player Tara Iyer. The No. 24-ranked Seminole newcomer notched her 11th ACC victory in a 6-4, 6-3 defeat. Unfortunately, Florida State had already lost three singles matches by that point. Suess dropped her match on court six to Robinson 6-3, 6-4 followed by a 6-4, 6-1 loss from No. 68 ranked Macfarlane to No. 19 ranked Ellah Nze. Wente also came up short 6-1, 6-1 on in the four spot against Mang, leaving the match up to Marobela and Walter.
Walter was up 3-2 at one time after winning her first set over Reka Zsilinszka 6-2. But the match ended before the duo could complete play on court three.
"We have a lot of great things to take away from this tournament," said Hyde. "After a few days off we will hit the ground running to prepare for the NCAA Championships."
Florida State will now have to sit and wait for the NCAA to make its decision on what 16 teams will host the first and second round of the national championships on May 9-11. The announcement will be made April 29.
Today's match as well as coverage from the rest of the ACC tournament will be made available On-Demand every night (April 18-20) by 9 p.m. on ACC Select (www.ACCSelect.com).