March 26, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a much-needed win last Sunday against North Carolina to notch its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season, No. 25 Florida State (8-6, 1-4) looks to defeat two more league opponents in hopes of improving its record. The Seminoles will open up the weekend Friday, March 27 against Virginia (10-4, 3-2) at 3:30 p.m. then have a quick turn around to face Virginia Tech (10-6, 1-4) Sunday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m.
“We are excited to get on the road for a series of ACC matches at Virginia and Virginia Tech this weekend,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “The girls are coming off a strong performance at home this weekend and really need to carry that momentum to Virginia. We have had a very solid week of practice where we really focused in on some crucial things that have been giving us problems these last few weeks.”
First up for FSU will be the Cavaliers of Virginia. The Seminoles hold the all-time series against Virginia 17-5 with the last victory for the Garnet and Gold being in 2007. In the 2008 match-up, it came down to a final singles court that decided the close match between the two foes. The FSU squad was unable to hold up against Virginia as they fell 4-3 on the Cavaliers home court. After losing the doubles’ point, FSU was able to gain momentum after winning three points in Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.), Ania Rynarzewska (Inowroclaw, Poland) and Federica Suess (Ludwigshafen, Germany) in singles. The match then went into Lauren Macfarlane’s (Ogden, Utah) hands as she faced Amanda Rales. After losing the first set to Rales, Macfarlane fought back to win the second set, but fell in the third set as Rales overpowered the sophomore 7-5.
The Cavaliers will bring in two nationally-ranked players Friday in No. 78 Jennifer Stevens and No. 81 Emily Fraser. Stevens and Fraser also make up the No. 48 nationally-ranked doubles team while Amanda Rales and Neela Vaez make up the other Virginia doubles threat at No. 64.
Next up on the Seminoles list to conquer will be the Virginia Tech Hokies. Florida State leads the series record between the two, 9-1. At last year’s face-off, Florida State swept the Hokies 7-0 to pick up its 12th win of the season. After dominating doubles by winning on all three courts to earn the point, Florida State went on to dictate the singles courts as all but one Seminole defeated their opponents in just two sets. After being pushed to a third set by Jessica Brouwer, Rynarzewska fought back to finish of the win for FSU.
Although the competition seems stiff once again for FSU, Coach Hyde will look to her three nationally-ranked players- No. 44 Noemie Scharle (Colmar-berg, Luxembourg), No. 56 Rybakova and No. 76 Suess- to lead the Seminoles to another successful weekend.
“I know the girls are ready to put themselves to the test,” Hyde said. “We have some very specific goals leading up to the ACC tournament, and Friday will be one more challenge. We face it head on as it’s another opportunity for us to compete and raise the level of play.”