Sept. 27, 2001
The Florida State Lady Seminole women’s tennis team is set for their first fall action of the 2001 season. The squad will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala. where they will compete in the Roberta Alison Fall Classic on, Friday, Sept. 28 thru Sunday, Sept. 30.
“We are excited to finally get out there and play some tennis,” said head coach Lise Gregory. “We have been practicing all month for fall tournament action. This will give us a good chance to see where we are and what we need to work on for the spring, which is exactly what these fall tournaments are for.”
Florida State returns two seniors, one junior and a sophomore, while welcoming five newcomers to the program this season. With four returning players and an amazing pool of incoming talent, the 2001-02 season looks to be one filled with excitement for the Lady Seminole tennis team.
“I am really excited about the up coming season,” coach Gregory. “We have five new players and only four returners so the whole personality of the team will change. The student-athletes we have coming in are extremely solid and will really push our upper classmen for their positions in the line up. I think competition within the team will help us improve both individually and as a whole. We have the ability to be a top 20 team this year and our goal is to improve on our highest ranking (No. 18) since I have been at Florida State.”
Returning seniors Alida Gallovits and Jessica Balbuena are both looking forward to a dynamic senior campaign. Gallovits, who was named to the ALL-ACC team for the third consecutive year, also made her second appearance in the NCAA Individual Championships advancing to the second round of tournament play in 2000. She finished the season with a record of 25-15.
Teammate Balbuena also had a standout season, including a six-match winning streak in the spring. She also earned a doubles ranking of No. 38.
Christina Denny will return for her sophomore season after making her mark early in fall play during the 2000 season. Denny not only brings a competitive energy to the team, but is also one of the most relaxed members of the squad.
In doubles action, the team is likely to see some changes. After losing Nanette Duxin to graduation, the tandem of Gallovits and Duxin will no longer be seen as with the tandem of Balbuena and Samantha Schoeffel who finished the doubles season with a record of 14-5.
With five members of last year’s squad named ITA Scholar Athlete All-Americans, seven named to the ACC Honor roll and five consecutive years of earning the Golden Torch Award, the women’s tennis team has been recognized not only for their athleticism but for their academic success as well.
When the 36th ranked Lady Seminoles take the courts this year and begin a schedule that will include four teams ranked in the top 15, they will likely realize that they can compete against the nation’s best. After an off-season of intense training, just competing won’t be their goal. The potential for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth consecutive year is well within reach.