April 17, 2009
CARY, N.C. – Proving the critics wrong and dominating as the underdog seem to be a thing to do for the No. 17 Florida State women’s tennis team. The Seminoles closed out the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with their fifth upset of the season and ninth-consecutive defeat of a conference opponent as they triumphed over No. 7 Georgia Tech, 4-3. Florida State kicked-off the battle seeking revenge against Tech after losing to the Yellow Jackets earlier in the season. This is also the first time since 2004 Florida State has had success over the league enemy. The Garnet and Gold will now face No. 6 Miami in the semifinals for only the third time in school history.
“On paper, we were not meant to win a match like this,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “The team knows what we are capable of. They believed it and have seen it develop in the last couple of months. That belief made a big difference in the match today. This was a huge team effort which was what it was going to take to beat Georgia Tech. The belief has been there and now they have the proof. I am so proud of the team. The fight was just unbelievably inspiring. “
The Seminoles started the match off slow losing the doubles point to the Yellow Jackets. Although FSU fought back after being down 6-0 on court three, Georgia Tech’s Amanda McDowell and Lynn Blau overpowered Lauren Macfarlane and Noemie Scharle 8-5 to win the first match. Quickly following their finish was court one where Georgia Tech earned their second victory and the lead point into singles.
“We had a tough lost in doubles today, but it’s gotten so much better,” Hyde added. “It’s been a night and day difference since the start of the semester.”
Prevailing past Georgia Tech’s No. 57 Noelle Hickey to earn FSU’s first match point was co-captain Macfarlane on court three. The Ogden, Utah native upset the Yellow Jacket 6-2, 6-1 to tie up the match, 1-1.
Giving Georgia Tech the lead, 2-1, with her win on court four was No. 43 Christy Striplin. The league foe was too much for senior Ania Rynarzewska (Inowroclaw, Poland) to handle as the Seminole fell 6-1, 6-1.
After battling against Georgia Tech’s Lynn Blau on court six, junior Jessica Sucupira (Whitehouse, Texas) prevailed past the Yellow Jacket 6-1 in the first set and trumped the rival 7-6 (1) in the second set tie-breaker. The co-captain gave FSU its second point and tied the match 2-2.
Meanwhile, courts two, five and one featured an array of nationally ranked Seminoles and Yellow Jackets battling for the third team point.
Earning Florida State’s third point in the second upset of the day was sophomore Katie Rybakova on court one. The Coral Springs, Fla. native was pushed to a three set match after losing the first set 4-6 to No. 21 Amanda McDowell then bouncing back in the second set 6-4. The Seminole went on to surpass the Yellow Jacket in the third set 6-3.
Once again the score tied up 3-3 as Scharle (Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg) fell to Georgia Tech’s No. 12 Irina Falconi in another three set struggle 6-4, 2-6, 4-6. The match was now in the hands of Federica Suess.
Highlighting the match with her fight as the last Seminole standing was the sophomore on court five. Suess got a sluggish start as she lost her first set to Sasha Krupina 4-6. However, that didn’t stop the Seminole from pushing back as she won her second set 7-5. Finishing up the astounding day for the squad was Suess’ third set conquest of 6-3 to clinch the victory for Florida State. This is the first time this season the Ludwigshafen, Germany native has secured a win for the team.
“This is the first time in my tenure we have beaten former NCAA Champion Georgia Tech,” Hyde said. “This team is once again on its way to making more history. At this point we feel pretty confident with this win and its going to put us in a much better position to host. We are playing our best tennis now at the end of the season and this last three weeks is when we need to bring it.”
“We are really going to enjoy this win tonight and come out against Miami and give them everything we’ve got,” Hyde said. “We still have plenty of tennis ahead of us.”
FSU will square off against the Hurricanes tomorrow, April 18 at 10 a.m. Keep up with the Seminoles as live stats will be available through www.seminoles.com.
#17 Florida State 4, #7 Georgia Tech 3
Singles: Order of Finish 3, 4, 6, 1, 2, 5
1. #58 Katie Rybakova (FSU) def. #21 Amanda McDowell 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2. #12 Irina Falconi def. #42 Noemie Scharle (FSU) 6-4, 2-6, 4-6
3. Lauren Macfarlane (FSU) def. #57 Noelle Hickey 6-2, 6-1
4. #43 Christy Striplin def. Ania Rynarzewska (FSU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Federica Suess (FSU) def. Sasha Krupina 4-6, 7-5, 6-3
6. Jessica Sucupira (FSU) def. Lynn Blau 6-1, 7-6 (1)
Doubles: Order of Finish 3, 1
1. #29 Striplin/ Hickey def. Katie Rybakova/Federica Suess 8-5
2. Bonny Davidson/ Jessica Sucupira vs. Falcon/Krupina DNF
3. McDowell/Blau def. Lauren Macfarlane/Noemie Scharle 8-5