CARY, N.C. – The fifth-seeded Florida State women’s tennis team (18-8) fell in the second round of the ACC Tournament to 13th seeded Virginia Tech (14-11), 4-3.
“Credit to Virginia Tech today,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “That was a completely different team than we saw a couple weeks ago, which we did expect. They came out on a mission, competed hard, and played to win. We didn’t deliver the punches across the board today like we have been able to do all season.”
The day started off slow for the Noles as they went down 1-0 after losing the doubles point. Florida State jumped out to an early lead on courts one and three while they were down 3-0 on court two. The pair of sophomore Carla Touly and junior Ariana Rahmanparast extended their lead on court one to 3-1. The Seminoles maintained their lead and began to fight back on court two, but the Tech lead was too much. The Hokies took court two 6-4. On court one Virginia Tech fought back from down 3-1 to tie it up at four. The Hokies won the final two games on court six and the doubles point.
In singles, the Noles went on to win five of six first sets, led by 6-1 wins from freshman Petra Hule and junior Ariana Rahmanaparast. Virginia Tech took the first set on court one 6-0 and turned that into a 2-0 lead as they claimed the second set 6-4.
Florida State quickly punched back getting their first point on the board with a win by Rahmanparast. After dominating the first set 6-1 she came right back and did the same in the second set taking it 6-1 from Virginia Tech’s Katherine Butler.
Sophomore Andrea Garcia tied it up for the Noles with her team-leading 17th win of the season. She jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the first set and capitalized off of it with a 6-3 win. In the second set, she took a 3-2 lead and went on to win the last three games to take the second set 6-2 and the match.
Florida State took their first lead of the match with a win from sophomore Nandini Das on court three. After a long first set and taking it 7-6 in a tiebreaker, she cruised through the second set, getting out to a 5-1 lead before taking down her opponent 6-2.
Virginia Tech was able to tie the match back up with a win on court two. Freshman Petra Hule ran through the first set 6-1 but could not keep it up as she went on to lose the next two sets.
With the match on the line, it all came down to junior Julia Mikulski. Mikulski had a long-fought battle in the first set that resulted in a 7-5. That got followed up by an even longer set in the second as Mikulski lost it in a tiebreak. Virginia Tech came out of the gate hot in the third set as they took the first five games. Mikulski showed fight as she brought it back to 5-1 but could not keep it up as she fell 6-1 in the third set.
“This loss, albeit poorly timed, is nothing more than a hiccup in what has been a very solid season so far for this squad,” said Hyde. “Nothing can take away from that, but today we took our foot off the gas pedal and there is a cost for that, but if this kind of loss doesn’t get your attention to bring your best on Gameday, nothing will.”
“Looking ahead, we will be together on May 1 (and Jules’s birthday) to see our NCAA Selection,” said Hyde. “We are anticipating that with great excitement and can’t wait to make a run in this postseason. Now, we will head back for Finals week, finish up all of our academic responsibilities, and set our focus back on NCAA’s and the opportunities ahead. This is the best time of the season!”
Florida State will now wait until Tuesday, May 1st to find out who they will be playing in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
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Virginia Tech 4, Florida State 3
1. #71 Natalie Novotna (VT) def. #19 Carla Touly (FS) 6-0, 6-4
2. Caroline Daxhelet (VT) def. #102 Petra Hule (FS) 1-6, 7-5, 6-3
3. Nandini Das (FS) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina (VT) 7-6, 6-2
4. Nika Kozar (VT) def. Julia Mikulski (FS) 5-7, 7-6, 6-1
5. Ariana Rahmanparast (FS) def. Katherine Butler (VT) 6-1, 6-1
6. Andrea Garcia (FS) def. Nina Sorkin (VT) 6-3, 6-2
1. Caroline Daxhelet and Natalie Novotna (VT) def. #49 Carla Touly and Ariana Rahmanparast (FS) 6-4
2. Nika Kozar and Nina Sorkin (VT) def. Andrea Garcia and Julia Mikulski (FS) 6-4
3. Petra Hule and Gabriella Castaneda (FS) vs. Sarah Baron and Katherine Butler (VT); match was unfinished: 5-3
Match Notes Order of finish: Singles — 1 5 6 3 2 4 ; Doubles — 2 1