Feb. 28, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla.- The No. 20-ranked Florida State women’s tennis squad welcomes two ranked, in-state rivals to town this weekend for a pair of highly competitive matches. The 8-1 Seminoles will start the weekend against their first ACC opponent of the season, No. 10 Miami (4-2) on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and wrap competition on Sunday against No. 40 FIU (3-4).
“The first thing that comes to mind with Miami is the fact that we had two 4-3 losses to them last season,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “I think those losses are still very fresh in the minds of our players who were on the team last year. This time we’re going to be ready to go. We’ve been working on a lot of different things this week and we’re getting better.”
In all-time match-ups against the conference-rival Hurricanes, Florida State trails 2-17 with the Seminoles’ last win dating back to 2000. Last year, the two teams faced off twice, once in regular season play in Miami and once later in the season at the ACC tournament. Both battles ended in a 3-4 loss for the Seminoles.
At the ACC Tournament in Cary, N.C. the Seminoles tried to win the match in singles play after picking up just one win in doubles. Sophomores Lauren Macfarlane and Jessica Wente both picked up singles victories as did senior Carolin Walter, but in the end, FSU came up short.
In Florida State’s regular-season loss to Miami, the Seminoles won the doubles point with a pair of victories and posted two singles wins from Wente and senior Tapiwa Marobela. The match came down to Macfarlane who rebounded to win her second set after losing the first, but couldn’t hold on for the victory.
Florida State has a much better lifetime record against FIU, leading the Panthers 12-5 since the teams began competition in 1989. In recent years, however, the two teams have become more evenly matched. Last season in Miami, the Seminoles pulled out a tight 4-3 win over FIU, avenging their last loss to the Panthers, a 2-5 heartbreaker in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
“FIU will come in here with a lot of depth,” said Hyde. “They have a very competitive team. We are expecting it to be another close battle as it was last year when we played them down in Miami and I’m excited once again to see the team in such a competitive environment where we have so many chances to continue to improve as well as to be tested and challenged.”
A pair of wins this weekend would give Florida State some extra fuel as the team prepares to take on the defending national champions, Georgia Tech, next Friday March 7 at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.