Jan. 16, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla. – The No. 20-ranked Florida State women’s tennis team kicks off the spring season in grand fashion this week with the program’s first trip to Hawaii. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 16, FSU will join Alabama, Kansas, Sacramento State and host school Hawaii in the three-day Hawaii Invitational.
“We’re very excited about making our first trip to Hawaii,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “It’s a great opportunity for us to play a lot of tennis, but it’s also a chance for us to see some national landmarks and do some touring as well.”
The Seminoles head to the Aloha State boasting one of their highest pre-season rankings to date at No. 20 in the nation. The prestigious ranking comes not just from Florida State’s phenomenal finish at the NCAA Tournament last spring, but on the heels of a successful fall season as well. Having lost just two players from the 2007 squad, the Seminoles rolled through the fall posting a combined team singles record of 47-28 and a doubles record of 18-7.
Helping Florida State fill the open slots on this year’s team is a trio of freshmen with a promising future. Ranked No. 16 in the country, Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.) completed her first fall season with a 10-2 record, including big wins over three members of Georgia Tech’s defending national championship squad. Just behind Rybakova is Federica Suess (Ludwigshafen, Germany), who also picked up 10 wins in fall singles play in launching her career at Florida State.
FSU’s newest addition, freshman Bonny Davidson (Johannesburg, South Africa), will pose a threat for the Seminoles on the doubles court where she is the reigning ITF South Central African Doubles Circuit champion. Ranked as high as No. 178 in the world last year, Davidson arrived at FSU a semester early, prepared to jump straight into spring play along with the rest of the squad in Hawaii.
“All the teams we’re going to be playing against are very talented and highly competitive,” said Hyde. “This tournament will be an excellent way to get everyone together and get our team mentality going as we head into the spring season.”
Following the tournament in Honolulu, Florida State will return home to host Jacksonville University on Jan. 26 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in the first of five straight home matches for the season.