TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team was back in action on Saturday. The 2014 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship Pre-Qualifying rounds began in Los Angeles, Calif. while the second day of the Furman Fall Classic concluded in Greenville, S.C.
2014 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships Pre-Qualifying
The best collegiate tennis players in the nation are gathered at the Los Angeles Tennis Center for the ITA Women’s All-American Championships. Senior Seminoles Daneika Borthwick and Kerrie Cartwright were both able to show off their skills on Saturday against some of the nation’s elite players.
Borthwick advanced in the pre-qualifying round on Saturday after two impressive victories. She started off slow in her first match against Oregon’s Nicole Long. Once she calmed down, she was able to rally back and win in convincing fashion 6-4, 6-0.
“She played very solid, Assistant Coach Zsuzsanna Fodor said. “The first set was a little tight, then Daneika settled in and dominated.”
Shortly after her victory against Long, the experienced Seminole faced off against Gabrielle Smith of Southern California. Borthwick played smart and aggressive tennis to defeat Smith 7-5, 6-1.
“At the All-American you would expect everyone to be playing their best and that it was going to tough match,” Fodor said. “Gabrielle was leading and Danieka was able to turn it around and tie it at three-all. She [Daneika] grabbed the lead and it kept going back and forth. She kept going to the net more and made some big shots. She was playing very good tennis and playing aggressive.”
Borthwick’s next match will be tomorrow against No. 113 ranked Kenna Kilgo from Texas Tech.
Cartwright got off to a quick start, winning the first set 6-3. Southern California’s Meredith Xepoleas got better as the match went on and proved to be too much for the No. 91 ranked Cartwright, winning 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.
“Kerrie started off playing very aggressive,” Fodor said. “She dominated the first set. The second set was very difficult. You have to give Meredith credit. She played very aggressive in the third set. Kerrie played good tennis too. It was just a tough match. Kerrie made a couple of very good adjustments, which I think she can carry on for further matches as the season goes on.”
Furman Fall Classic
The Florida State women’s tennis team continued to gain experience as day two of the Furman Fall Classic comes to a close.
Promising freshman Gabby Castaneda continued her impressive start to her Florida State career on Saturday. The Miramar, Fla. native advanced to the singles flight one finals after outlasting Iowa’s senior Shelby Talcott in a three-set thriller 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5. Castaneda was at a disadvantage when it came to experience, but her mental toughness and will to win propelled her to victory in a hard fought battle against a difficult opponent.
“I am really happy for Gabby and the guts that she showed to muscle through her three-set match, Head Coach Jennifer Hyde said. “She was playing against a very experience senior player from Iowa and Gabby demonstrated such maturity and level-headedness to win that match in the third set.”
Castaneda will face Ansley Speaks of Furman tomorrow in the flight one finals.
On the doubles side, Castaneda and redshirt freshman Emily Fanning fell to Clemson’s No. 8 ranked doubles pair of Jessy Rompies and Beatrice Gumulya in the flight one championship, 8-3. The Seminole freshmen duo had a strong performance against the highly ranked Tigers tandem, but fell short. Castaneda and Fanning showed great chemistry throughout the weekend for just starting to play together defeating two opponents including the No. 17 ranked pair from Vanderbilt en route to the finals.
Fanning and Florida State’s other true freshman Lana Rush showed great grit in their single losses. After losing the first set 6-0, Fanning never lost confidence and took the second set, 6-2 before falling in the third against Tori Olivarez of Tennessee, losing 6-0, 2-6, 6-4. Rush forced a tiebreaker in the first set of her match, but was unable to come away victorious as Tennessee’s Laurence Guevremont edged out the win, 7-6(7), 6-4.
Sophmore Daniela Schippers fell to No. 63 ranked Courtney Colton of Vanderbilt in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.
“We were close in a few of our singles matches,” Hyde said. “We just need to continue to work on taking advantage of situations when we set ourselves up. We weren’t executing as a group as well as we are capable of or as well as we did on Friday, but this is something we will continue to work on and know that it is an easy fix.
All four Seminoles will be in action tomorrow on the last day of the Furman Fall Classic. Castaneda will face Speaks of Furman in the flight one championships. Rush and Schippers will be playing for third place, and Fanning for seventh.
“My hope is that tomorrow we will have our best day of the weekend,” Hyde said. “There will be no better feeling than to walk out of this facility tomorrow with a pocket full of wins. More important than anything is that we continue to get better in this tournament and continue to get better this Fall. As long as we are doing that everything is on track.”
Singles Round of 64
Daneika Borthwick (FSU) def. Nicole Long (ORE), 6-4, 6-0
Meredith Xepoleas (USC) def. Kerrie Cartwright (FSU), 3-6, 7-6, 6-3
Singles Round of 32
Daneika Borthwick (FSU) def. Gabrielle Smith (USC), 7-5, 6-1
Furman Fall Classic
Doubles Round Three
F1 Championship Match Rompies/Gumulya (CU) def. Castaneda/Fanning (FSU), 8-3
F2 5th Place Olivarez/Lindl (UT) def. Schippers/Rush (FSU), 8-6
Singles Round Two
F1 Gabriela Castaneda (FSU) def. Shelby Talcott (IA), 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-5
F2 Tori Olivarez (UT) def. Emily Fanning (FSU), 6-0, 2-6, 6-4
F3 Courtney Colton (VU) def. Daniela Schippers (FSU), 6-0, 6-0
F4 Laurence Guevremont (UT) def. Lana Rush (FSU), 7-6(7), 6-4