May 7, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 18 Florida State women’s tennis team (16-7) will open the first and second rounds of the 2009 NCAA Tournament this weekend at the Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on the campus of its in-state rival, Florida. The first round features the Seminoles facing Auburn at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, with Florida and College of Charleston slated to start at 1 p.m. The winner of both matches will battle on Sunday, May 10, at 2 p.m. in the second round.
“We all are very excited to get on the road to Gainesville Thursday and ready to get busy competing in the NCAA’s,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “This time of year is incredible, and there is still so much tennis ahead for us. Practices have been going great this week, and now that the weekend is drawing closer, the girls eyes are starting to get a bit wider with anticipation for competition.”
First up for the Seminoles will be No. 33 Auburn (11-12) Saturday morning. FSU leads the all-time series against the Tigers, 18-2, with the last match-up being in 2008. Auburn enters its sixth tournament appearance, while Florida State opens the tournament for its sixteenth time and third consecutive.
Auburn closed out its South Eastern Conference season with a 3-7 record and fell in the first round of the conference tournament. Although not a strong finish, the Tigers are still a threat for the Seminoles as they bring in two nationally-ranked players in No. 6 Fani Chifchieva (15-5) and No. 6 Alex Haney (17-3). Whitney Chappell and Hanley (10-3) team up to make the No. 14 doubles team.
Florida State looks to utilize No. 30 Noemie Scharle (Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg), No. 50 Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.) and No. 106 Federica Suess (Ludwigshafen, Germany) this weekend. If successful in rolling past the Tigers, FSU will make its fourth appearance in the second round of the tournament.
“After having a few weeks off to prepare physically and mentally for round one this Saturday, this team is poised and ready for battle,” Hyde said. “They have goals set in their minds, and they are ready for the opportunity to make those goals come to fruition.”
There will be no television coverage of the first and second rounds. Fans can keep up with the Seminoles as live stats will be available on www.seminoles.com. The team will also be writing a diary of their adventure this weekend which can be read on the above website.