Oct. 26, 2008
Athens, Ga. – Sophomore Katie Rybakova has superseded expectations and moved herself into the semifinals of the 2008 Wilson/ITA Southern Regionals Championship. University of Georgia will play host tomorrow to the semifinals beginning at 10a.m. matching up the No. 1 seed, Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, and Florida State’s No. 3 seed Rybakova.
“Katie has come into this weekend with the mindset of wining,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “She has been working very hard on her mental game and has done a great job of not allowing herself to get in the way mentally.”
Rybakova began her work towards the semifinals today as she faced No. 81 Monika Davcevic of Georgia and was successful, 6-3, 6-2. In a competitive battle for the semifinals, Rybakova matched up against the No. 7 seed, Christy Striplin of Georgia Tech. Although Rybakova and Striplin were both ranked preseason, No. 24 Rybakova trumped ACC rival No. 57 Striplin, 7-7 (6), 6-4.
“Katie is playing with maturity,” said Hyde. “Katie needs to continue to play her game, work the points on the court and focus on the mental aspect of game. She will need to step up and be courageous when given the opportunity tomorrow. I think if she focuses on these things, the rest will follow.”
If victorious in the semifinals, Rybakova will not only move to the finals, but also automatically compete at the National Indoor Championships in November at the Boars Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. If Rybakova doesn’t move on to the finals, she will still have a chance to get an at-large bid to compete at nationals. If Rybakova automatically moves on or receives an at-large bid, it will be her second stint at the National Indoor Championships. After losing at the semifinals in the 2007 ITA Southern Regionals Championship, Rybakova was invited to the National Indoors Championship.
In spite of putting up a fight throughout the entire championships, junior Lauren Macfarlane, who is ranked at No. 53, fell to No. 46 Noelle Hickey, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
“Lauren is doing a good job of playing her game and being true to that,” said Hyde. “She has been successful this weekend because she has come out playing with an aggressive mind set and not allowed herself to become passive. It was great to see Lauren set her mind to not play as a passive player.”
(3) Katie Rybakova (Florida State) def. Monika Dancevic (Georgia),
(3) Katie Rybakova (Florida State) def. (7) Christy Striplin (Georgia
Tech), 7-6(4), 6-4
Noelle Hickey (Georgia Tech) def. (9-16) Lauren Macfarlane (Florida
State), 7-5, 6-2