Jan. 17, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The No. 24 Florida State women's tennis team begins their 2014 dual match season with a pair of matches on Sunday, January 19 against Stetson and UAB. The Seminoles will face off against the Hatters at 9:30 a.m. at the Indoor Tennis Facility while the match against the Blazers will follow at 3:30 p.m.
"It's that time of year," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "We are excited to get into competition mode. I know everyone is ready to compete against other people and take the work we've been doing in practices into matches. It is going be exciting."
Florida State returns five upperclassmen to this year's team. Seniors Laurence Porry and Kristina Schleich, along with juniors Daneika Borthwick, Kerrie Cartwright and Mia Vriens look to lead the Seminoles back to the ACC Championship match, a feat which they accomplished for the third time in program history in 2013.
Four new freshman have joined the squad this year. Majlena Pedersen and Duda Santos arrived in the fall of 2013 and have already showed some competitive matches on court. Emily Fanning and Daniela Schippers arrived for the Spring 2014 semester and are ready to compete for the Garnet and Gold.
"There are going to be a lot of nerves, our freshmen will probably be playing at least once during the day," Hyde said. "Getting them through those first match jitters is important, and continuing to work on things from an individual standpoint will be key. Also, doing a good job of immediately seizing opportunities when we have them and not hesitating with that whether it is upping the score, serving, returning, leading 5-2 in a set and finishing the job by not letting it get to 5-3 or 5-4."
Sunday's matches will be played at the Indoor Tennis Facility at 2566 Pottsdamer Rd., which since being completed in 2011 has allowed the tennis teams to continue to train and compete despite a variety of weather conditions in Tallahassee.
"Fortunately, both our indoor and outdoor courts are similar in speed," added Hyde. "So early in the season with the temperatures being iffy, I think it is going to be good to take the girls out of the element of cold weather that can wreak havoc on muscles and increase the likelihood of injury. Hopefully we will get more fans indoors too, because the environment will be a little warmer as well. We've been preparing all week indoors, but have also been hitting outside, so we are prepared either way."