April 18, 2008
Altamonte Springs, Fla.- Different year, different location, different team, different result. A year and one day after ACC in-state rivals Miami ended Florida State’s bid at the 2007 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship, No. 19 Florida State finally got the revenge they longed for in a 4-2 upset of the No. 11 Hurricanes. The Seminoles will move into the third round against Duke at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow for just the second time in school history.
“What I’m most proud of today is the class and the fight and the passion that my team exhibited,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “I am so proud of the way they handled themselves. There’s a lot of diversity in that rivalry with Miami but they were composed and poised and they wanted it more today. I don’t know if that was the reason for the outcome, but I have to think that those things pay off at the end of the day.”
Tapiwa Marobela waited with bated breath as the final ball from her opponent Caren Seenauth sailed across the net and dropped just out of bounds, giving the senior her biggest win in four years of play at Florida State. Instantly she was swarmed by her teammates as the 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory gave the sixth-seeded Seminoles a major upset over the three-seed Miami.
“I knew that I had to win,” said Marobela, who started cramping up going into the last point of her match. “I just had to get through it all and win the match for my team.”
The win was especially important given that Marobela was also the deciding factor in the 2007 tournament face-off against the Hurricanes.
“This time last year [Marobela] was the last match on against Miami in the quarterfinals and came up just short in a gut-wrenching 7-6 match,” said Hyde. “As a senior, to step up and play with so much conviction today to get the win for this team is a defining moment for her. I’m so proud of her heart and her poise today and they way she knew what she had to do and she got it done for this team. That, for Taps, is going to be a career highlight. No question.”
Prior to Marobela’s finish, fellow senior Carolin Walter and freshman Federica Suess put the Seminoles in position to secure their second win over Miami this season. Walter, ranked No. 72 in the country, dominated play on court three with a 6-4, 6-2 upset of No. 80 Romy Farah while Suess took a 6-3, 6-4 victory on court six over Claudia Wasilewski.
The duo of German natives also pushed the Seminoles to clinch the doubles point earlier in the day as they defeated Seenauth and Bianca Eickhorn 8-6 on court two. Sophomores Jessica Wente and Lauren Macfarlane also took home a doubles victory 8-2 over Michaela Kissell and Gina Sabatino in the three spot. The two victories nullified a difficult 8-0 loss from the Seminoles’ No. 54-ranked pairing of junior Ania Rynarzewska and freshman Katie Rybakova. The two could not hold against the No. 21 ranked duo from Miami, Laura Vallverdu and Romy Farah.
Rybakova also had a hard time against Vallverdu in singles, as the No. 24 ranked freshman fell to the No. 22 ranked sophomore 6-4, 6-4. The Seminoles lost a second singles match on court four as Wente fell to Eickhorn 6-4, 6-1. The two losses left Marobela and Macfarlane playing for the team win. Macfarlane had just entered her final set when Marobela ended the four-hour long match on court five.
With revenge sought and won against Miami, the Seminoles will now turn their sights on No. 9 Duke, seeded second in the tournament bracket. The Seminoles not only have to make up for a close 4-3 loss to the Blue Devils at home earlier this year, but a 5-0 loss during Florida State’s only other appearance in the third round of the ACC Tournament in school history. The two schools faced off in 1994 during Hyde’s senior year at Florida State and lost.
The match will begin at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow on the courts at Sanlando Park. Coverage of all matches from the ACC Women’s Tennis Championship will be made available On-Demand every night from April 18-20 by 9 p.m. on ACC Select (www.ACCSelect.com).
#19 Florida State 4
#11 Miami 2
1-No. 22 Laura Vallverdu def. No. 22 Katie Rybakova 6-4, 6-4
2-No. 68 Lauren Macfarlane vs. No. 57 Michaela Kissell DNF
3-No. 72 Carolin Walter def. No. 80 Romy Farah 6-4, 6-2
4-Bianca Eickhorn (UM) def. Jessica Wente (FSU) 6-4, 6-1
5-Tapiwa Marobela (FSU) def. Caren Seenauth (UM) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
6-Federica Suess (FSU) def. Claudia Wasilewski (UM) 6-3, 6-4
Order of finish: 3, 4, 1, 6, 5*
1-No. 21 Vallverdu/Farah (UM) def. No. 54 Rynarzewska/Rybakova (FSU) 8-0
2-Walter/Suess (FSU) def. Seenauth/Eickhorn (UM) 8-6
3-Wente/Macfarlane (FSU) def. Kissell/Sabatino (UM) 8-2
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2*