Feb. 24, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State head coach Jennifer Hyde was frustrated, to say the least, after doubles play on Friday against UAB. Her team had just dropped its second doubles point in as many matches so the second-year head coach relayed a simple message to her players: no more mediocrity.
The Seminoles (7-2) obviously got the message as the Tribe stormed on the courts Friday afternoon and walked away with a 5-2 victory against the Blazers (4-2) thanks to singles wins at Nos. 2-6.
“I made it very clear that how they started out in doubles was not acceptable,” said Hyde, a former FSU tennis standout. “Even though some of the teams changed without Suzanna [Mansour] in the lineup…that doesn’t mean the rules of the game change. I was frustrated because they strayed away from things we teach them in practice. Before they went back out and played singles I wanted every player to know that it’s not okay to be mediocre.”
For the second straight match, junior Nicola Slater led the singles charge at No. 4, beating Gulsah Esen by decisive 6-1, 6-2 scores. Junior Whitney Eber, competing in the fifth slot, followed suit and defeated the Blazers’ Samrin Tanzeem 6-1, 6-1 as Florida State took the 2-1 lead. UAB evened the score when Ornisha Maier-Knapp overcame Seminole freshman Ania Rynarzewska (6-3, 6-3) at singles No. 1.
The pressure came down to courts 2, 3, and 6 as each contest went into extra sets. At the No. 6 position, freshman Lisa Nystrom Skold logged a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory against Seden Soyalp and sophomore Tapiwa Marobela secured the Florida State win after outlasting Julia von Samson 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4). Despite being down early in the third set, senior Alina Mihailescu rallied for a 7-6, 4-6, 7-6(4) victory versus Annemieke Elsholz as the Tribe pulled out its seventh victory of the season.
“I have said it over and over but our team plays with a lot of heart,” commented Hyde. “No one wants to lose and they are all tough competitors…they almost want to win too much. It was good to see how Nicola and Whitney jumped right out of the locker room and got quick wins. This changed the momentum of the match.
“I am very proud of the way Lisa played…she is really settling into her game. I am also very pleased with the level of intensity our players exhibited when the matches got down to the wire. They battled and fought hard for the win.”
Florida State hosts Florida International at noon on Sunday, Feb. 26. All matches are free of charge.
February 24, 2006
1. Ornischa Maier-Knopp (UAB) def. Ania Rynarzewska (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Tapiwa Marobela (FSU) def. Julia von Samson (UAB) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(4)
3. Alina Mihailescu (FSU) def. Elsholz (UAB), 7-6, 4-6, 7-6(4)
4. Nicola Slater (FSU) def. Gulsah Esen (UAB) 6-1, 6-2
5. Whitney Eber (FSU) def. Samrin Tanzeem (UAB) 6-1, 6-1
6. Lisa Nystrom Skold (FSU) def. Seden Soyalp (UAB) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1