Dec. 13, 2004
Tallahassee, Fla. – For the Florida State women’s tennis program, athletics and academics have always gone hand in hand. Looking back at media guides that have archived the history of the Seminoles on-court success, there is always a section highlighting the academic achievements of the program – most notably – the Golden Torch Award. The honor is presented every year at the Golden Torch Gala to the FSU athletics team with the highest GPA. Since 1997, the award has become a staple in the women’s locker room at Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
“The team takes a lot of pride in winning the Golden Torch Award each year,” said Hyde, in her first season back at FSU. “They take it very seriously and know that other teams are chomping at the bit to pass the tennis team by academically
The women’s tennis team was awarded its eighth consecutive Women’s Team Golden Torch Award on November 10, 2004. Junior Lindsay Deason (Ft. Myers, FL/Boca Raton Prep) had the best GPA on the women’s tennis squad in 2003-04. The psychology major won the honor in her first season in Garnet and Gold.
Every Florida State head women’s tennis coach has demanded that the effort applied in competition at the collegiate level be matched in their educational endeavors. New net master Jennifer Hyde’s philosophy is no different.
“I think the coaches before me shared a similar philosophy and a pattern has developed along with the tennis program,” said Hyde. “My philosophy goes back to the recruiting process. It’s important to me to always recruit a student-athlete who holds both academics and athletics in high regard. I recruit individuals who aspire not only to be great tennis players but also student-athletes who have the desire to excel and succeed at high levels in the classroom as well.”
The Seminoles were not only honored for their exceptional performance among FSU student-athletes but also in the conference and the women’s college tennis world. Nine Tribe members were named to the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Honor Roll and seven were selected 2004 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athletes. The team was one of 86 NCAA Division I programs listed on the ITA All-Academic Teams list by the governing body of college tennis.
In June of 2004, senior Mihaela Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania/Emil Racovita) became the first Florida State women’s tennis student-athlete to earn CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-American, earning the distinction for her 4.0 GPA in public relations. She was one of ten regional athletes named to the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-District III Women’s At-Large Team.
36 women’s team members have been named to the All-ACC Academic Honor Roll since FSU joined the league in 1992. Prior to that, 10 student-athletes have earned a spot on the Metro Conference Commissioner’s List. Since 1985, six Seminoles have received the distinction of having the highest GPA of any female student-athlete at FSU, with Moldovan earning the honor most recently in 2003.