TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 22/20 Florida State women’s tennis team (9-6) lost a heartbreaker to No. 1 North Carolina (16-1). The Seminole shined bright though as sophomore Carla Touly, freshman Petra Hule and junior Julia Mikulski all defeated ranked opponents.
“We just took the No. 1 team in the country to the wire,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “We took them to 6-4 in the third set and were in a really good position to take that match from them but came up just a bit short.”
“It was a tough one to lose because we were inches away from pulling that one off. I have to say being so close has made this team even more dangerous than we were at the start of the day.”
The Seminoles fell down early in doubles after North Carolina took court one 6-0. Florida State fought in the remaining two courts but could not come back as they headed into singles down 1-0.
Carolina took a 3-0 lead with a 6-2, 6-1 win on court five and a 6-2, 6-0 win on court three. The Seminole did not back down as they went on to win the next three points.
Hule earned the best win of her young career as she defeated No. 24 Sara Daavetilla on court two. Petra was up 3-0 in the first set and kept it going as she took the first 6-4. Hule kept it up in the second set as she jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before finishing off Daavetilla 6-2 and bring the Noles within two of the Tar Heels.
Mikulski brought Florida State within one as she defeated No. 112 Chloe Ouellet-Pizer in straight sets. They were back in forth in the first set before Julia took a 4-3 lead and turned that into a 6-3 first set win. In the second set, she took a 3-0 lead and did not look as she took the second set 6-2 and the match.
Touly tied the match up with a huge win on court one. Carla took down No. 16 Alle Sanford in straight sets on court one for her second win over a ranked opponent this weekend. She jumped out to a big 4-1 lead in the first set but Sanford came back to take a 5-4 lead. Touly won the next three games to take a one set lead. In the second set, Touly jumped out to a 5-0 lead before finishing off her opponent 6-1.
“We had huge individual wins for Carla, Julia and Petra,” said Hyde. “We had top-25 wins at one and two. The girls did a good job of playing complete matches and were not going to be denied today. Those were the consistent performances we need to see.”
With the match all knotted up senior Gabby Castaneda was alone on court four against UNC’s 78th ranked Alexa Graham. Castaneda lost the first set 6-4 but battled in the second set to win 7-6 (7-3). In the third set, Gabby fell behind early 2-0 before tying it up at 2-2. Graham took a 5-2 lead but Castaneda was not ready to give in as she fought back to 5-4. Castaneda’s efforts were not enough as Graham took the third set 6-4 and clinched the match for the Tar Heels.
“I am proud of how we competed. We played complete matches and complete sets,” said Hyde. “Mentally we were where we needed to be. I am very proud of our effort today. looking ahead we are probably more excited than we have been all year as we see things coming together.”
“It is a tough one but there is a lot to take from today’s match that will be used as fuel heading into our match on Friday at Wake Forest. We are now more hungry now than we have been all year.”
The Seminoles will be back on court next weekend as they take on Wake Forest and NC A&T on Friday.
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#1 North Carolina 4, #22 Florida State University 3
1. #54 Carla Touly (FS) def. #16 Alle Sanford (NC) 7-5, 6-1
2. Petra Hule (FS) def. #24 Sara Daavettila (NC) 6-4, 6-2
3. #12 Makenna Jones (NC) def. Nandini Das (FS) 6-2, 6-0
4. #78 Alexa Graham (NC) def. Gabriella Castaneda (FS) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4
5. #40 Jessie Aney (NC) def. Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-1, 6-2
6. Julia Mikulski (FS) def. #112 Chloe Ouellet-Pizer (NC) 6-3, 6-2
1. #2 Jessie Aney/Alexa Graham (NC) def. Carla Touly/Ariana Rahmanparast (FS) 6-0
2. #16 Sara Daavettila/Alle Sanford (NC) def. #53 Petra Hule/Andrea Garcia (FS) 6-4
3. Nandini Das/Gabriella Castaneda (FS) vs. Makenna Jones/Marika Akkerman (NC) 4-5, unfinished
North Carolina 16-1; National ranking #1
Florida State University 9-6; National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,3,2,6,1,4)