May 9, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. (Seminoles.com) - The 37th-ranked Florida State women's tennis team defeated No. 27 Arizona in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament in a close 4-3 decision at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, which is on the campus of the University of Georgia.
"We've been talking for weeks about how we've been on the cusp of having that season-defining win," FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. "We got over that hurdle today and I couldn't be happier. We've continued to improve this semester and this one is as sweet as any win we've had this season."
The win moves FSU to 16-12 on the year, advancing the Seminoles into the second round for the first time since 2011.
The deciding match was on court two as redshirt junior Daneika Borthwick was locked in a battle with No. 106 Kim Stubbe. It was the only match left on court midway through the second set.
Borthwick was down 5-3 early before charging back to win four-straight games to take the first set 7-5. In the second, Stubbe broke serve early forcing Borthwick to break in order to stay alive at 5-3, but she dropped the set in a tight 6-3 decision.
The Cumbria, England native started the third set by going up a break 2-1 to spark her four-game run to a 5-1 lead. Stubbe would then hold her own serve before Borthwick closed it out, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
"It was a tough match all around," Borthwick said. "It was very much a team effort. After doubles we had to work hard as a team to get those four points. It was nice that the other girls won those quickly and I just had to go to work and win the match."
"Daneika has been building for this opportunity today," Hyde said. "She's been through her bumps and bruises and she got over a few hurdles earlier this season. Today she played with a sense of maturity and calmness and she stuck to her game plan and it was a huge redemption for her to clinch the match today for this team."
Starting off the match, the No. 30 doubles duo of Kerrie Cartwright and Borthwick made quick work of Lacey Smyth and Shayne Austin, defeating the Wildcats by a score of 8-2. As Cartwright and Borthwick earned the edge for the doubles point, both courts two and three trailed 4-3.
The deciding match would be on court two as Daniela Schippers and Duda Santos came back from a two-game deficit to tie the match at 4-4. Arizona's team of Kim Stubbe and Lauren Marker made a three-game run before the Seminoles could tighten the score 7-5. Stubbe and Marker closed out the match by breaking serve, giving Arizona the doubles point.
In singles, the Seminoles jumped out to four first set wins.
Schleich would tie the overall match score 1-1 after she dominated Austin on court five, 6-0, 6-1. Shortly after Schleich's win, Vriens put the Seminoles ahead 2-1 after picking up a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 79 Lauren Marker.
"In the post season Kristina is tough as nails for us," Hyde said. "She's such an unbelievable competitor and to step out and get a 6-0, 6-1 win to tie the score quickly was a huge momentum shift in our favor."
Schippers added to the lead with a solid win on court four over James, 6-4, 6-2.
"Daniela got down 3-1 early," Hyde said. "She fought off a couple breaks and then just dominated like she's been doing all semester."
"Mia and Kristina were up very quickly in their first sets," Hyde said. "Daniela was right behind them and all of those ladies were gaining confidence knowing that they were taking care of business."
Arizona would grab the next two points, tying the match at 3-3 behind victories from courts one and six.
Laurence Porry battled on court six, but fell to Laura Oldham 6-4, 6-3 while No. 120 Cartwright dropped her match to No. 45 Smyth, 6-4, 6-2 leaving the deciding match to be on court two.
"It was a true team effort," Hyde said. "You lose the doubles point and then you turn around against a top team and win four singles matches to clinch, that tells you a lot about the guts of this team."
The Seminoles will take on top-seeded Georgia on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Friday, May 8, 2014 - No. 37 Florida State 4, No. 27 Arizona 3