Feb. 2, 2005
by A.J. Henderson, FSU Sports Information
“We do have a relatively experienced team of upperclassmen and a tremendous amount of leadership.”
first-year head coach Jennifer Hyde
Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team boasts a varied senior trio. One hails from across the Atlantic Ocean, another from across the United States and a third from across the state in St. Petersburg, Fla. The trio – Mihaela Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania/Emil Racovita), Amberly Tantee (Dana Point, Calif./Futures) and Natalie Tirapelli (St. Petersburg, Fla./Connecticut) – all have the college experience and leadership as well as the drive to lead the Seminole onto the courts this year. Here’s a brief look at the background of the group:
Senior Mihaela Moldovan is in her third year of collegiate competition with the Seminoles. Moldovan hails from Bucharest Romania. She is a public relations major, and in addition to her many accolades on the court, was the recipient of the prestigious 2003 Golden Torch Award for the highest GPA for a female student-athlete. IN 2004, Moldovan became the first women’s tennis student-athlete to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. In her junior year, she became the first Seminole to finish the season undefeated in singles, picking up 26 consecutive singles victories in dual-match play. Moldovan finished the season with a #49 ITA ranking and All-ACC honors. Prior to crossing the Atlantic, the 2003 NCAA South Region Rookie of the Year won the Romanian National Championship twice, first in 1997 and then 1998.
Amberly Tantee is the only senior who has been at FSU for their entire collegiate career. Tantee has been a solid anchor at the No. 6 position for the last three seasons. As a freshman she picked up 11 singles victories, nine in dual-match play. Her best doubles season, came the following year hwen she picked up 13 contests, including 10 during dual-match play. During the fall of 2004, Tantee posted records of 5-3 in doubles and 3-4 in singles. Originally a native of Dana Point, California, Tantee opened her final campaign in Tallahassee, Fla., with an 8-0 shutout victory against Baylor on January 23. Outside of tennis, Tantee, a sports management major, is on FSU’s Student Athlete Advisory Council.
Natalie Tirapelli enters her third season at FSU after transferring from Connecticut where she amassed a 22-7 record in one season. At Florida State, she has seen limited action, boasting a 15-7 career record in singles. During the fall campaign, she tallied a 6-6 singles record against a 4-7 doubles mark. A product of St Petersburg Florida, she is one of only two Seminoles that hail from the state of Florida. In high school, Tirapelli starred as the number one singles and doubles player. She was named Student Athlete of the Year at her high school in 1999.