GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Playing their best tennis of the season the No. 18 Florida State women’s tennis team dominated the Ring Tennis Complex at the Linder Stadium this morning in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament with its defeat of No. 33 Auburn, 4-0. Despite temperatures hitting above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the Seminoles improved their season record to 17-7 and will face either No. 15 Florida or College of Charleston tomorrow, May 10, at 2 p.m. at the instate rival’s home courts.
“The girls started off very strong and set the tone very early,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “They were very aggressive in doubles and played very solid. They placed the ball very well. They moved well and took some chances. Everything just came together in doubles. We have been hoping it would come. They just did such a good job of commanding in doubles which set the tone for the entire match.”
FSU kicked-off the match against the Tigers with their most solid doubles performance of the season. Winning the first point was the dynamic duo of Noemie Scharle and Lauren Macfarlane (Ogden, Utah) on court three with their defeat of Fani Chifchieva and Taylor Schreimann, 8-1. Scharle and Macfarlane improve their record on court three to 4-3. Securing the doubles point for the Seminoles was court two with Jessica Sucupira and Bonny Davidson’s win over Myrthe Molenveld and Daniela Vukadinovic, 8-2, to advance their record to 3-3. Sucupira is only one doubles win away from tying the career doubles wins leader with 73 defeats.
“We came out in singles in every court, with the exception of maybe one court, and took a lead,” Hyde added. “We didn’t play as a team that hasn’t played in three weeks. That can be attributed to our practices being so good and a lot of competition within our team. It was good to see the girls come out and play high percentage tennis and be aggressive. We weren’t passive.”
Florida State continued the momentum into singles by winning all the first sets. Earning FSU’s second match point was Macfarlane on court three as she tamed the Tigers’ Molenveld, 6-2, 6-3.
Highlighting the day for the Seminoles was court one with sophomore Katie Rybakova winning the third point for her team. No. 50 Rybakova battled with No. 5 Chifchieva and overpowered the Tiger with her upset of 6-2, 6-4. The amazing victory is the second-biggest win in the sophomore’s career at FSU.
“For Katie to come out at this point in the year and beat the No. 5 player in the country says a lot about where she has come from,” Hyde said. “She has been on a roller coaster ride which has leveled out greatly in the last month for her. Now she has every reason in the world to have all the belief for her. What a great win for Katie. Everything seems to be finally coming together.”
Clinching the triumph for Florida State was sophomore No. 106 Federica Suess on court four. Despite being the down a few points in the first set, the Ludwigshafen, Germany native fought back to take down Auburn’s Whitney Chappell 6-4, 6-2 and give FSU its fourth point.
The Seminoles will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. where the team will face the winner between Florida and College of Charleston. Keep up with FSU as live stats will be available on www.seminoles.com. Also read the adventures the FSU women’s team is having in the Journey to College Station, Texas, home of the final site of the NCAA Tournament, diary entry available above.
“We are going to have a great crowd out here tomorrow from our Tallahassee clan and families,” Hyde said. “If we face Florida tomorrow, at the end of the day, it is Florida, but it’s just one more obstacle on our way to getting to Texas. We are not going to think about who we are playing against. Obviously there will be that natural rivalry with two in-state schools playing each other. This will just be another obstacle for us to overcome in getting to Texas. That is our focus and we won’t be content with anything short of that. We are going to just continue to do what we have been doing.”
#18 Florida State 4, #33 Auburn 0
Singles: Order of Finish 3, 1, 4
1. #50 Katie Rybakova (FSU) def. #5 Fani Chifchieva 6-2, 6-4
2. #35 Noemie Scharle (FSU) vs. #28 Alex Hanley
3. Lauren Macfarlane (FSU) def. Myrthe Molenveld 6-2, 6-3
4. #106 Federica Suess (FSU) def. Whitney Chappell 6-4, 6-2
5. Ania Rynarzewska (FSU) vs. Daniela Vukadinovic
6. Jessica Sucupira (FSU) vs. Jil Hastenrath
Doubles: Order of Finish 3, 2
1. Katie Rybakova/Federica Suess vs. No. 12 Whitney Chappell
2. Bonny Davidson/ Sucupira def. Myrthe Molenveld and Daniela Vukadinovic 8-2
3. Scharle/Macfarlane def. Fani Chifchieva and Taylor Schreimann 8-1