ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team has arrived at Disney World and is geared up for the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex on Thursday.
The third annual event, hosted by Florida State University, will feature men’s and women’s singles and doubles competitions comprised of players from 30 different teams.
The women’s teams participating are: Auburn, Central Florida, Clemson, Columbia, Florida State, Illinois, Miami, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, South Florida, Stetson, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech and Youngstown State.
The USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA is the largest clay court event in college tennis and will feature many of the country’s top college teams and athletes.
The players are used to playing on hard surfaces during the season. The clay courts slow the speed of the ball, making attacking more difficult and matches to last longer because of the increase in rallies. The endurance of each player will play a big role in this tournament.
“The ball is a lot slower,” senior Daneika Borthwick said. “When the ball bounces it kind of dies a little bit. It doesn’t come up as quick, so that means there are going to be longer points. You are going to be able to move the ball around a lot more. There are going to be long matches.”
Borthwick reached the quarterfinals in last year’s event and is hoping she can bring that experience of success into this weekend. She holds a 5-3 singles record this season and has won her first match in each tournament this fall.
Another Seminole to watch out for this weekend is freshman Gabriella Castaneda. The Miramar, Fla. native sports a team-best 9-1 record with her only loss against the No. 14 ranked player in the nation. Castaneda won her first nine matches and has won two singles tournaments already this fall.
Florida State will switch it up on the doubles side for this event in hopes to create more chemistry and establish depth to an already deep roster. The spring season can bring multiple obstacles and Head Coach Jennifer Hyde wants to make sure her team is prepared for anything that may come.
Borthwick will split from partner Kerrie Cartwright and team up with redshirt freshman Emily Fanning. The two already have a relationship on the court, playing last season with each other for two matches. Borthwick and Fanning went 1-1 in those matches before Fanning injured herself and was out for the season.
“We started off really well before she got injured,” Borthwick said. “We are going to try and build on that, and get used to playing with each other. We are going to have fun.”
Cartwright will join forces with Castaneda while junior Yukako Noi and sophomore Daniela Schippers will play together for the first time.
Two days of the USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational presented by VISIT FLORIDA will be delivered live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app this week. Coverage of the tournament held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World will begin at 8 a.m. ET Thursday, October 30, the first day of play, and 9 a.m. ET Sunday, November 2, featuring the men’s and women’s singles and doubles finals. Kevin Corke will host both days’ coverage on ESPN3, with USTA Player Development General Manager and ESPN commentator Patrick McEnroe joining him for Sunday’s finals.
For more information on Florida State women’s tennis, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WTennis and like their official Facebook page.
Women’s Singles A Draw:
Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) vs. Marta Burak (YS)
No. 91 Kerrie Cartwright (FSU) vs. Lily Miyazaki (UO)
Daneika Borthwick (FSU) vs. Abbi Melrose (UO)
Women’s Singles B Draw:
No. 79 Yukako Noi (FSU) vs. BYE
Emily Fanning (FSU) vs. Sofia Baptista (UCF)
Women’s Single C Draw:
Daniela Schippers (FSU) vs. Katherine Butler (VT)
Lana Rush (FSU) vs. Maja Salibasic (SU)
Women’s Doubles A Draw:
Danieka Borthwick/Emily Fannings (FSU) vs. Carla Tur Mari/Maria Alvarez (OSU)
Women’s Doubles B Draw:
Kerrie Cartwright/Gabriella Castaneda (FSU) vs. BYE
Women’s Doubles C Draw:
Daniela Schippers/Yukako Noi (FSU) vs. Kelly Williford/Katherine Butler (VT)