Jan. 25, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 36 Florida State women’s tennis team will face its first ranked opponents of the 2013 season as they head to Waco,Texas for the ITA Kick-off Weekend. The Seminoles will first play 15th ranked Baylor on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT before matching up with either No. 21 Texas Tech or No. 29 Rice on Sunday. The winner of the regional will punch their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Charlottesville, Va. on Feb 8-11.
“It’s our first tough test this year,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “Baylor has been consistently in the top 10 – they have a strong team every year. We’ve had a lot of success this spring so far and we had a tremendous fall. I am more excited for these girls to be in this environment as we face a top 20 team.
The Seminoles (2-0) have shown their strength in singles over the course of two dual matches and a tournament. With four ranked players and two others contributing to the lineup, Florida State has yet to give up a set over a 24-0 streak. The run is the longest stretch of straight-set victories in school history.
Florida State is coming off of a 14-0 showing in singles at the UCF Invitational after facing players from UCF, Iowa and Furman.
In addition to UCLA, USC, Duke, Alabama and Miami, Florida State is one of six schools that have four players listed in the ITA rankings. Only Florida and North Carolina have more than four with six and seven respectively. With the exception of FSU, all of those schools are ranked inside the top 10.
The Seminoles hold the series edge at 5-4 against Baylor after dropping their last match to the Bears 5-2 back in 2010. Baylor has one ranked singles player in No. 16 Ema Burgic who is also a part of the No. 27 doubles pair along with Jordaan Sanford.
Texas Tech and Rice will square off at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday, with the victor taking on the winner from the FSU vs. Baylor match. The losers from each contest will play each other on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT in the consolation round before the championship at 2 p.m. CT.
If the Seminoles should face the Owls, it will mark the 14th time the two teams have met, with FSU holding the series lead at 9-4. However, if Florida State should play the Red Raiders, it will be the first meeting between the two squads.
“The last time we qualified for Indoors was in 2010,” Hyde said. “That was pretty special. We would love nothing more than to send these seniors off and qualify. I think we can get there because our lineup is unbelievably strong. The results and experience are there and these ladies are playing in the moment, but they’re going to have to step up because the opportunity is there to advance.”
Stay tuned to Seminoles.com, twitter (FSU_wtennis) and Facebook for more information.
Live stats throughout the weekend can be followed here: http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/w-tennis/livestats.html
In addition, a live blog can be seen here: http://www.baylorbears.com/blog/inmatch-tennis.html