May 12, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ranked No. 15 in the country and set to host an NCAA Regional this weekend for just the second time in program history, the Florida State women’s tennis team has put together another fine season but the court is not the only place these ladies shine. Head Coach Jennifer Hyde, in her sixth season at the helm of the women’s tennis program, believes in developing not only outstanding athletes, but outstanding students and citizens as well and her Seminoles have succeeded in all of these areas.
“I think one of the most important things we can do is give back to the community,” Coach Hyde said. “I wish we had time to do more of it, but we certainly enjoy the opportunities to spend time with people who love the game and kids who are learning to play and have a passion for this sport.”
Academically, the women’s tennis team has earned the highest grade point average of all Florida State women’s teams for 13 straight years. It’s a achievement that is recognized each fall at the Golden Torch Awards Gala. The Seminoles just completed an outstanding semester with all seven members of the team achieving a grade point average above a 3.0 for a team semester GPA of 3.47. More than half of those seven student-athletes also sport a cumulative grade point average over a 3.0.
“The women’s tennis team is a determined group of ladies,” Academic Coordinator Marlon Dechausay said. “Even with a hectic dual season, each and every one of these student-athletesreally focused on their studies and put a lot of hard work into what resulted in a very successful academic semester.”
“I don’t think I have ever had a group that has achieved over a 3.0 grade point average in a semester,” Coach Hyde said. “This semester especially we had the worst traveling we’ve ever had since I have been coaching. The fact they made such good grades with those demands on them shows you how serious they take their academics. They’ve done a great job of finding a way to balance all the aspects of their experience here and I am really proud of their effort because it’s not easy to do. People don’t understand how difficult it is.”
Reaching out to the community has also been a priority this year. As a team, the Seminoles performed 82 hours of service this year donating their time with Relay for Life, USTA Kiddy Hit, Florida State Tennis Community Day- food drive, Keep Tallahassee Beautiful, Thanksgiving Day Food Drive, creating FCAT Cards, Free Tennis lessons-Forest Meadows, Hannah Bergstrome School of Dance and many other causes.
Most recently, the Seminoles teamed up with members of the Florida State men’s tennis team and gave back to the community by participating in the end-of-the-season party for the Junior Team Tennis program offered through the Tallahassee Tennis Association. Many of the league’s participants, and their parents, were in attendance. The event included pizza, awards for the champions and the opportunity for the kids to play tennis with members of the FSU tennis teams.
“Being a part of this event gave us an opportunity to get involved with young kids, who are either just getting into the sport of tennis or already have a love for the sport and are trying to improve their skills and move on to the next level,” Coach Hyde said. “It’s a blast for all of us to be involved with kids who have such a passion for the game at such a young age. All of us have been blessed with the doors that have opened for us through the sport of tennis and to be able to help inspire and involve these kids in the sport that has been so good to us is a great thing. I know the youngsters had a blast, but I guarantee you the same was had by our team and staff as well.”