May 14, 2005 - by
FSU Loses to Higher-Ranked FIU In First Round

May 14, 2005





Gainesville, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team (11-12, 4-6
ACC) concluded the 2005 campaign with a loss to higher-ranked, No. 33
Florida International by a score of 4-2 on Friday, May 13, 2005 at the
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Fla.

The loss is the first opening round loss since 2002 when the Tribe was
shutout against VCU. It is the second time this season the Seminoles have
dropped a contest to FIU and only the third win since the series began in
1989.

Florida International entered the match 17-0 when winning the doubles point in the contest while the Seminole were 0-5 when losing. The contest was first-year head coach Jennifer Hyde’s first decision in the postseason, marking the first time she has led a team to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships.

Senior All-American Mihaela Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania/Emil Racovita) and junior Lindsay Deason, currently ranked #18 in the nation, held the Golden Panthers’ top doubles team to two games in winning by a tally of 8-2. The pair took the first win of the afternoon from an FIU duo that entered the tournament winning nine of its last ten matches.

At the number three position, junior captain Miranda Foley (Cambridge,
England/Houston) and freshman Tapiwa Marobela (Garborone,
Botswana/Clapham) battled back and forth with FIU’s Bruna Discordia and
Courtney Jonson, in a losing effort, 9-7. With FSU leading 7-6, an ace and
an unforced error against the Seminoles gave FIU the point needed to tie the
match and ensure a tie breaker. The Tribe tandem had their backs against the
wall at 7-8, down 0-40 when they stormed back to tie the score at 40-40.

With the point on the line, sophomore captain Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town
South Africa/Clapham) and senior Amberly Tantee (Dana Point,
Calif./Futures) fought from a 4-7 deficit against FIU’s doubles pair of Egle
Petrauskite and Shill D’Armas to tie it 7-7. After trading advantages, Foley
and Marobela were eventually edged by the Golden Panthers 9-7. The loss is
only the third of the season for the two and first since playing Collins and
Markovic from No. 16 North Carolina.

The doubles play against FIU began in a familiar fashion for the Tribe, as
they lost the doubles point in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA Women’s
Tennis Championship against Marshall. In that match, the Seminoles, who were
0-7 when losing doubles last year, stormed back to win four of five singles
contests and make it through to the second round.

In singles, Tantee was the first to finish, losing a two-set match to
Marijana Cutuk, 6-1, 6-2. The senior ended her career with 16 wins in
2005 tying a career-best with 11 dual match decisions during her final year
as a Seminole.

Senior Natalie Tirapelli (St. Petersburg, Fla./Connecticut) played her final
match in Garnet and Gold, losing in two sets to Discordia, 6-3, 6-3. With
the win, FIU went ahead 3-0. Tirapelli finishes her career with
24 singles victories.

Deason put the first point of the day on the board for the Seminoles,
winning in two-sets 6-3, 6-3. She held Nikitta Fountain to three games per
set and became the fourth Tribe member this year with double digit, singles
wins.

After losing to Zabalas in the first set 1-6, Moldovan took the second game
6-4, forcing a third set for the fourth time this season. FIU went up 3-0 to
start the final stanza but Moldovan showed why she is among the best in the
nation, running off six games in the win by a final tally of
1-6, 6-4, 6-3. The win moved FSU to 3-2 on the scoreboard.

After trading games in the first set, Clarke edged Petrauskaite, 6-4.
Towards the end of the second set, the second-year captain tied the game at
5-5 before losing 7-5 and sending the match to a third set tiebreaker.
The evenly matched contest, both individual and team, was decided by a final
of 4-6, 7-5, 6-3

Down 5-3 in the second game, following a 6-3 first game loss, all Marobela
had to do was hold D’Armas at bay so teammates Moldovan and Clarke could
continue winning their sets and subsequently the game. She did the program
one better than that and rattled off four games in five chances to send the
match into overtime. In the final set, her match was suspended because of
the FIU win on court two.

No. 33 FIU 4, No. 43 FSU 2

Doubles
No. 1 #18 Moldovan/Deason (FSU) d. Nikkita Fountain/Paula Zabala (FIU), 8-2
No. 2 Egle Petrauskaite/Shilla D’Armas (FIU) d. Clarke/Tantee, 9-7
No. 3 Bruna Discordia/Courtney Jonson (FIU) d. Foley/Marobela, 9-7

Singles
No. 1 #15 Mihaela Moldovan Paula Zabala (FIU), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Egle Petrauskaite (FIU) d. Roxanne Clarke, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 3 Lindsay Deason d. Nikkita Fountain (FIU), 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 Tapiwa Marobela vs. Shilla D’Armas (FIU), DNF
No. 5 Marijana Cutuk (FIU) d. Amberly Tantee, 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 Bruna Discordia (FIU) d. Natalie Tirapelli, 6-3, 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles – 1, 3, 2; Singles – 6, 5, 3, 1,

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