March 27, 2008
Tallahassee, Fla.–Florida State’s regular season competition will reach its peak this weekend as the No. 21 women’s tennis squad begins its final homestand of the season. The Seminoles (12-3, 2-2) will take on No. 12 North Carolina (12-5, 3-1) at 3:00 p.m. Friday and No. 6 Duke (11-2, 4-1) on Sunday at 12:00 p.m for the Seminoles’ Think Pink game benefiting Susan G. Komen For the Cure.
“We’ve got two tremendous opportunities in front of us this weekend,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “That difficult loss on Sunday has given everyone an opportunity to do some soul-searching, not just as individuals but as a team. I feel confident that they are ready to raise their game. They have a tremendous amount of belief in what they’re doing and I’m very excited to see them take on this challenge.”
The Tarheels, currently fourth in the ACC standings, have a narrow edge over the Seminoles with a 13-15 series record. Last time the conference rivals faced off in 2007, Florida State came up empty against a tough North Carolina squad as they fell 7-0 in Chapel Hill.
On Sunday, the Seminoles will host Duke for a special “Think Pink” match dedicated to raising money for the breast cancer research foundation Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Florida State has been raising money for the cause all season and hopes to draw fans into the action on Sunday with a special pink T-shirt giveaway.
“`Think Pink’ is going to be a great celebration on Sunday to recognize those who have been affected in one way or another by breast cancer,” said Hyde. “We are going to continue to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation and the girls will be wearing special pink FSU shirts to show their support. We just want to continue to do our part to recognize such a huge cause.”
Florida State’s Sunday opponent, the Duke Blue Devils, are second in the conference with just one ACC loss to No. 28 Clemson. In overall competition against FSU, Duke has a dominant 2-21 lead in the series, but the Seminoles currently hold the last laugh over Blue Devils after last year’s stunning 4-3 upset in Durham.
In last year’s victory, senior Carolin Walter clinched the Seminoles’ first win over the Blue Devils since 1983 with a hard-fought 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 win over Duke’s Tory Zawacki. Sophomores Lauren Macfarlane and Jessica Wente both posted dominant straight-set victories over the Blue Devils’ Jessi Robinson and Elizabeth Plotkin in giving Walter the opportunity to secure the FSU win.
In addition to victories, pride and conference clout, this weekend the Seminoles are also fighting for an opportunity to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA women’s tennis tournament for the first time in school history. Only the top 16 teams in the nation are invited to host the tournament May 8-10, which means Florida State needs a few more big wins to move up at least five spots in the rankings.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to pick up free pizza, free T-shirts and compete to win a few prizes this weekend at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
Florida State’s home season will come to a close Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. as the Seminoles cash their rain check against No. 3 Georgia Tech. Prior to the match, seniors Walter and Tapiwa Marobela will be recognized as part of the Seminoles’ official Senior Day festivities.