Jan. 8, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team will embark on its first trip to Hawaii Jan. 15 toting its brand new No. 20 ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association–a far cry from last year’s pre-season ranking at No. 72.
“In comparison to where we were a year ago at this time, I think this ranking clearly shows the improvements made by this team over the last year,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “It’s a good starting point for us, but our goals for this year reach much higher than the Top 20. We’re in a good spot, but we still have a ways to go to get to where we want to be.”
Also receiving a major pre-season honor from the ITA is freshman Katie Rybakova, listed at No. 16 in the singles polls. Rybakova posted a 10-2 singles record in the fall and made her first appearance at the ITA/Riviera All-American Tournament.
“Coming in as a freshman and putting yourself amongst the top twenty players in the country makes a huge statement,” said Hyde. “However I think Katie is better than that number shows and she has some time to prove it. She had a great showing during the fall and she will now have every opportunity to prove herself during the spring season.”
This year’s Seminole squad will face a long list of talented competition. Among the other top-ranked teams in FSU’s 2008 schedule are No. 1 Georgia Tech, No. 4 Florida, No. 10 Clemson, No. 11 Miami and No. 12 North Carolina. In all, FSU will face seven teams in the Top 25 and 14 in the Top 60, including nine conference opponents.
“We try to set our schedule in a way that allows us opportunities to creep up in the rankings,” said Hyde. “We will be up against a host of opponents who are going to push us to our limits, but it’s just going to give us the chances we’re looking for to continue to take this program to new heights.”
Following the 2008 season opener at the Hawaii Invitational on Jan. 15, Florida State will play its first home match of the season Jan. 26 against No. 73-ranked Jacksonville University at 1:00 pm.