May 11, 2005
Tallahassee, Fla. – The No. 43 Florida State women’s tennis team (11-11, 4-6 ACC) open the first round of the 2005 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships with a familiar opponent – the Florida International Golden Panthers (18-5). The Seminoles dropped a tough 5-2 decision in Miami, Fla., on March 12 at the end of a ten-day, two-coast road trip. FSU is anxious to face the 2005 Sun Belt Champions because they lead the series, that began in 1989, 10-1 and have won the all but one of the last 11 meetings.
Included in the foursome in Gainesville are the host institution, the Florida Gators and MEAC Champion South Carolina State. The Gators are in the tournament for the 23rd time in 24 years while the Bulldogs, who finished the season 23-1 and 10-0 in the conference, are going to the dance for the first time in school history.
Seminoles Record Lopsided Against NCAA Foursome… The Tribe has faced the Gators 27 times in the last 23 seasons, with a series that dates back to 1982. On the other hand, Florida State has never faced South Carolina State and would mark an historic occasion for both programs if they did make it to the second round. The Bulldogs face Florida at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2005. The second round will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The Seminoles First Point, Is On Point… FSU currently has three doubles teams with over ten wins a piece. Junior Lindsay Deason (Ft. Myers, Fla./Boca Raton Prep) and senior Mihaela Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania/Emil Racovita), who are ranked #18 in the nation, lead the team with 14 wins at the top flight. Sophomore team captain Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa/Clapham) and senior Amberly Tantee (Dana Point, Calif./Futures) are on a streak since becoming a pair at the beginning of March, posting 12 victories at the number two position and one at the number one position. Junior captain Miranda Foley (Cambridge, England/Houston) and freshman Tapiwa Marobela (Garborone, Botswana/Clapham) have won ten of their last 12 matches at the number three positions.
Number One Doubles Leading The Way… The Seminoles’ number one doubles team of Moldovan and Deason, is not only at the top of the lineup but at the top of conference and the nation. The pair, who has 14 victories this season, is ranked third among the league doubles tandems and are rated #12 in the nation. The pair has accumulated five losses over the course of the season and beat some of the best duos in the nation.
Top Three In Top Two In The League… Florida State’s doubles teams have continued their domination of the conference, winning two-thirds of their matches since beginning league play with a sweep of the ninth-ranked Miami Hurricane squad. In seven of ten conference matches, the Seminoles have won the first point of the day and won four of five contests in a two-match showing at the ACC Women’s Tennis Championships. Overall, the Tribe’s doubles teams are tied for second wins in the conference with North Carolina at 20 while Clemson lead the pack with 25.
FSU’s number one doubles team, Moldovan and Deason, are tied with UNC’s Cline and Mojzis for the second most conference wins, with seven. They are just two wins behind Miami’s #3 Audrey Banada and Megan Bradley, with nine, whom they beat in head-to-head competition. Clarke and Tantee, have the second best record in the ACC among flight two teams, trailing UNC’s Sarah Anundsen and Jenna Long by a single decision. Marobela and Tantee are tied for second with Georgia Tech’s Kelly Anderson and Lyndsay Shosho for number three position wins with five.
Moldovan Is Tops In Singles This Season Singles standout Moldovan, has moved up in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) since her preseason ranking of 42. She has jumped 28 spots since the start of the 2005 campaign and is currently rated the 14th best tennis player in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). She hit her peak position of #12 on April 19, after winning six of her last seven matches. Moldovan also has the third best record in the ACC among number one players, at 8-2. Two of her four losses this season have come against the top two women’s tennis players in the nation, #Megan Bradley (Miami), who is 10-0 in the ACC, and #2 Julie Coin (Clemson).
Moldovan Rakes In Postseason Awards… Moldovan was honored this past week with accolades from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, both regionally and nationally. On a national level, the two-time All-ACC team member earned the program’s first All-American honor since 1996, when she was seeded among the top 16 players in the nation for the 2005 NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships in Athens, Ga. The nod is the first athletic honor on the national level of her career and the second overall. She was named a 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-American for her success on the court and in the classroom. Moldovan was also selected as the 2005 ITA South Region/Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sportsmanship and Leadership Award winner for her commitment to academic and athletic excellence, team leadership and community service.
NCAA History… FSU has been to the NCAA Team Championships nine of the last ten years, missing the postseason tournament in 2003. The farthest any squad has made it is the second round in 2000 and 2004. Last season, FSU ousted Marshall 4-2 before losing to 2004 NCAA semifinalist Vanderbilt. Prior to that, the Seminoles won 5-3 against Illinois before losing 5-0 to Florida in 2000.
On the Horizon… Moldovan and Deason head to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships in Athens, Ga. for competition beginning on May 23 at 9:00 a.m. with the first round of singles. The 32-team bracket for doubles starts the following morning at 9:00 a.m. Moldovan is scheduled to play in singles and doubles while Deason will participate in doubles. The pair is the first doubles team to qualify for nationals since All-American Lori Sowell and Elke Juul in 1996. Five duos prior to this season have made it to the national stage since 1983. Moldovan and Deason have the highest ranking for a doubles team in program history and opened the season winning eight of their first ten matches.