May 11, 2008 - by
No. 15 Florida State Falls In Final Match To No. 19 Texas 5-2

May 11, 2008

Tallahassee, Fla. – The No. 15 Florida State women’s tennis team took their final curtain call beneath the lights of the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in an upsetting 5-2 loss to No. 19 Texas. Although the end result wasn’t what the Seminoles wanted, the team still gave the home crowd something to be proud of in their last match of what’s been a historical season.


Florida State’s dreams of making a program-first trip to the NCAA Championship’s third round came down to the final two matches. After a grueling five hours of tennis, the ebb and flow of both teams boiled down to the heart of their line-ups.


On court three, FSU’s Carolin Walter and Stephanie Davison of UT were in a third-set tie-breaker at the same time Florida State‘s Jessica Wente and Texas‘ Caroline Larsson were battling out the last few games of their third set.


The end result on both courts was not what Florida State would have hoped for. Walter came up short in the tie-breaker, losing the match 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(5) moments after Wente gave up the final point in her third set to fall 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.


“They did a good job of putting themselves back in the matches after getting behind in a number of first sets,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “Once again, they just showed a ton of heart and competed unbelievably well. We had every opportunity today to be successful, we just did not execute at the times we needed to. When it came to playing the big points well, we just didn’t do a good job of it when it mattered most.”


Prior to the last matches, Texas had a leg up on Florida State 3-2 after freshman Katie Rybakova fell on court one against the Longhorns’ Vanja Corovic. Rybakova rallied back from a 2-6 upset in her first set to force a tie-break point in the second, then dug in and rebounded from a 1-3 deficit to win the tie-breaker 8-6 and force a third set. But the long day caught up to the hardened rookie and she couldn’t hold on, dropping the third set 2-6.


Sophomore Lauren Macfarlane tied the match earlier with a roaring comeback. After dropping her first set 3-6, the Utah-native never fell behind again as she stormed back to win 6-4, 6-1 in her last two sets.


Senior Tapiwa Marobela pulled out a tight first set 7-5 and used the momentum to push her past Texas‘ Maggie Mello 6-3 for the Seminoles’ first singles victory of the match.


Florida State was behind going into singles after losing the doubles point to start the match. Junior Ania Rynarzewksa and Rybakova fell 8-3 to Texas‘ Corovic and Marija Milic, leaving the last remaining matches engaged in a give-and-take battle under the hot afternoon sun.


Macfarlane and Wente went up 4-1 before letting the Longhorns in the door and eventually tie the match at four and again at five. But the Seminoles’ sophomore sensations stayed strong and came out victorious 8-5.


With that, the doubles point came down to court two where Walter and Suess put their 14-4 record on the line against Stephanie Davison and Caroline Larsson. The duos fought tooth-and-nail through the first eight points and wound up going to a tie-break. Florida State went up 3-0 before the Longhorns retaliated, taking the decision 7-4 and the doubles point along with it.


“The doubles point was pretty crucial–it always is–to have the 1-0 lead heading out for singles is always a mental edge,” said Hyde. “Especially when you had the doubles point right in your hands. But I’m proud of them, they fought hard–they left it all out there.”


Florida State ended a season that to this point has modified the history books from top to bottom. During the course of the season, the Seminoles set the school’s highest ranking to date (#12), made it to the third round of the ACC tournament for just the second time in program history and placed two competitors (Walter and Suess) at number three and four on the all-time dual match win percentage list.


“The program is definitely going in the right direction,” said Hyde. “We made a few more leaps and bounds ahead of where we were this time last year. As long as you’re getting better and the culture of the team is getting bought into by the players then you know these moments are going to come around again. But next time we’re in this situation I think we’ll capitalize on them a little better than we did today.”


While the Seminoles may leave the Speicher Center with heavy hearts, the final match of the season can’t erase the footsteps left by this team on the Florida State women’s tennis program.


“For the seniors, they both have built the foundation of the program and what it’s going to be in my coaching era,” said Hyde. “We couldn’t have gotten here without them and without their contributions, work and loyalty. They will always have their footprints on making history at Florida State and being a part of–to this point–the best program in the history of Florida State women’s tennis. No one can ever take that from them and that’s a lot to be proud of.”




Final Score:

#15 Florida State 2 vs. #19 Texas 5


Box Score


No. 1: #63 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. #27 Katie Rybakova (FSU) 6-2, 6-7(6-8), 6-2

No. 2: #75 Lauren Macfarlane (FSU) def. Courtney Zauft (UT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

No. 3: Stephanie Davison (UT) def. #89 Carolin Walter (FSU) 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(5)

No. 4: Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Jessica Wente (FSU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

No. 5: Tapiwa Marobela (FSU) def. Maggie Mello (UT) 7-5, 6-3

No. 6: Sarah Lancaster (UT) def. Federica Suess (FSU) 6-2, 6-4

Order of finish: 6, 5, 2, 1, 4, 3



No. 1: #23 Corovic/Marija Milic (UT)  def. Rybakova/Ania Rynarzewska (FSU) 8-3

No. 2: Davison /Larsson (UT) def. Walter/Suess (FSU) 9-8(4)

No. 3: Wente/Macfarlane (FSU) def. Mello/Zauft (UT) 8-5

Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*



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