TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team finished its fall season with a combined 45-32 singles record including wins over three ranked opponents and a 13-14 doubles record. True freshman Gabby Castaneda led the team with 10 singles wins. Five different Seminoles had winning records and will look to take that momentum into the spring dual match season.
ITA PRESEASON RANKINGS
Seniors Daneika Borthwick and Kerrie Cartwright accomplished a No. 9 preseason doubles ranking, which is the highest ranking in school history. Junior Yukako Noi will start the season with a No. 79 singles ranking. Along with Noi, Cartwright was also given a No. 91 singles ranking. With these results, Florida State placed the most players in the ITA preseason rankings since 2010.
FLORIDA STATE WOMEN’S TENNIS ADOPTS A ROAD
It was the team’s desire to reach out and support Tallahassee’s community and in order to do so this year, the women’s tennis team adopted part of Tharpe road and with it the responsibility to keep it clean and beautiful. We will look for more ways to give back and enrich the city of Tallahassee.
GOLDEN TORCH AWARDS
The Golden Torch Award goes to the team with the highest Team GPA amongst Florida State’s student-athletes. It is a hard-earned award that the women’s tennis team prides itself on year in and year out. The Florida State’s women’s tennis team GPA was 3.6 and with that the award was secured for the tenth time under head coach Jennifer Hyde. Senior Mia Vriens was named the individual Golden Torch Award winner. She was an ITA Scholar Athlete last year, which contributed to the ITA Academic All-America status earned by the team as well.
FURMAN FALL CLASSIC
Castaneda made a remarkable debut at her very first tournament as a Seminole, and took home the Furman Fall Classic Championship title in Greenville, S.C. Along the way she beat No. 17 ranked Frances Altick from Vanderbilt University for her first ever victory over a ranked opponent. She not only did outstanding in singles, but with redshirt freshman teammate Emily Fanning they went on to play the doubles finals as well, where they lost to Clemson’s No. 8 ranked pair of Jessy Rompies and Beatrice Gumulya 8-3, who ended up winning the All-American tournament later in the week. Freshman Lana Rush played extremely well in her first collegiate tournament and was able to play for third place in flight number four.
ITA ALL-AMERICAN TOURNAMENT
The ITA All-American event held in Malibu, California, is one of the biggest tournaments held during the fall season. This event hosts some of the best and highest ranked players in college tennis. Florida State qualified three players this year being amongst 12 schools in the nation who qualified three or more. Borthwick won three matches in two days to make the qualifier draw, including a win over No. 113 Kenna Kilgo from Texas Tech, and won an additional match against No. 121 Shannon Hudson of Arkansas before losing in a close 6-4, 7-6 match against California’s No. 60 Klara Fabikova. Cartwright had an epic battle against Meredith Xepoleas from USC and ended up dropping the match 6-3, 6-7, 3-6 in the final set. Noi defeated No. 69 ranked Gabriella De Santis from Ohio State in her first match before losing in a toe-to-toe match against Texas A&M’s No. 34 Saska Gavrilovska 6-3, 7-6.
Castaneda won her second singles title in as many events by defeating teammate and doubles partner Fanning in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 in the finals. Fanning showed great advances overall since the beginning of the year as she went 4-1 in singles play at the Bedford Cup in Jacksonville, Fla. Sophomore Daniela Schippers won her third straight match of the tournament to claim winner of the Consolation B Draw. Schippers defeated Olga Martinez of USF in straight sets 6-4, 7-6.The Seminoles finished the weekend at the Bedford Cup going 16-8 in non-interstate matches and brought home hardware after sweeping the Main B Draw.
ITA SOUTH REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Seminoles finished the ITA South Regional Championship in Atlanta, Ga., with records of 13-8 in singles and 2-3 in doubles. Rush was the last Seminole standing as she made it to the B Singles Draw finals. Rush won all six sets in her three matches to reach the B Draw finals. She only lost more than two games in a single set once. The London, England, native played against Nerma Caluk of FIU and was unable to continue her weekend success as she fell in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. After winning her first three matches of the tournament, Castaneda improved her season record to an unblemished 9-0. In her third victory, Castaneda was in a grueling three-set fight against Georgia’s Mariana Gould that lasted over three hours. After such a demanding match, Castaneda faced off against her toughest opponent of the season in No. 14 ranked Brianna Morgan from Florida. The Florida State true freshman came out in charge taking the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6(5), but ran out of gas and dropped the match in the third set 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. Noi and Fanning both were able to fight back from opening day losses to end the tournament positively. Fanning won three matches in a row before falling in the semifinals of the A Singles Consolation Draw. No. 79 ranked Noi won her first two matches in the consolation draw before dropping out midway through the second set in her match against Miami’s No. 111 Monique Albuquerque.
INAUGURAL MILITARY APPRECIATION EVENT
The Seminoles invited all military service members, past and present, for a clinic with the team at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. The event consisted of a hit-around clinic with the women’s tennis team and staff, free dinner and prizes. Over 30 veterans and student vets came out for the event and enjoyed a great night of tennis with the team. The Seminoles will host Air Force on Feb. 21 and has a match set against the Naval Academy in 2016.
USTA COLLEGIATE CLAY COURT INVITATIONAL PRESENTED BY VISIT FLORIDA
The third annual event, hosted by Florida State University, featured men’s and women’s singles and doubles competitions comprised of players from 30 different teams. The USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA is the largest clay court event in college tennis and was played at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. Borthwick and partner Fanning reached the doubles A Draw finals after winning three straight matches to begin the tournament. The Seminoles pair faced off against a talented duo from Auburn in No. 30 Michala Kucharova and Reka Muller.The championship of the doubles A Draw finals came down to a deciding third-set tiebreaker. Borthwick and Fanning continued their second set success into the third and jumped out to a fast start leading 8-5. After Auburn came all the way back to take a 9-8 advantage, Florida State’s No. 1 doubles team kept fighting in the back-and-forth tiebreaker until it eventually fell, 12-14. Kucharova and Muller were crowned champions by defeating Borthwick and Fanning 7-6 (5), 1-6, 1-0 (12). Noi and Fanning were both able to reach the semifinal rounds in the singles B Draw after winning five matches combined.
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