Jan. 23, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After defeating Stetson and UAB on January 19, the No. 24 Florida State women’s tennis team travels to Austin, Texas for two matches as a part of ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Seminoles will face No. 22 Rice on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and will take on either No. 17 Texas or No. 23 Auburn on Sunday.
“Heading into this weekend, it’s a national qualifier,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “If you win two matches you make it into the Sweet 16 of Team Indoors which is a huge, huge deal. I think we’ve only done it once in program history. So it would be nice to have a repeat of that but we have a lot of work ahead of us.
“There are three very good teams in our regional. And first things first, we have Rice on Saturday. A very highly nationally ranked team. We have our competition set for us but it will be a good test.”
Rice (1-0) swept Lamar to open their 2014 dual season on January 18, 7-0. The `Noles will play the Owls for the second straight year for ITA Kick-Off Weekend. FSU defeated Rice in 2013, 4-2.
No matter who they face, the Seminoles’ Sunday opponent will have a pair of nationally-ranked singles players. Texas (1-0) is led by No. 22 Breaunna Addison and No. 77 Ratkina Batra. Addison is also ranked No. 21 in doubles with partner Pippa Horn.
Auburn (0-0) is paced by No. 12 Pleun Burgmans and No. 98 Emily Flickinger. The pair of Tigers are also the No. 17 ranked doubles team in the country.
The Seminoles played well on their first weekend, only dropping a total of three team points. They swept the doubles point against both of their opponents and had several straight set singles victories. Florida State received solid contributions from the new freshmen with singles victories by Emily Fanning and Daniela Schippers. Schippers also paired with fellow freshman Duda Santos to win a doubles match.
The junior and senior veterans will look to lead the way for the team as the `Noles pursue their second-ever trip to the ITA National Indoor Championships. They last qualified for the final site in 2010.
“It is probably one of the strongest regionals, but this time of year you want that,” added Hyde. “You want to have that as a gauge and see where your team is right now. And it is going to give us a great look at that. The good thing is that no matter what, we are going to get two really solid matches under our belts.”