Feb. 17, 2004
Tallahassee – The No. 52 Florida State (6-1) women’s tennis team will travel to Gainesville, FL to face the defending national champion Florida Gators (2-0).
Florida State enters the match, with Florida leading the all-time series 26-0 dating back to 1973. The last time the two teams met was in February of 2003 in Tallahassee, when the then-No. 2 Gators shut the Noles out, 7-0. In the 2004 season, the defending national champions haven’t been on the court in a match since January 26, 2004 when they beat UCF 5-0.
The Seminoles are coming off their first loss of the season to No. 32 Alabama (2-2) by a score of 5-2 in Tuscaloosa on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles were set to begin the contest outdoors but inclement weather moved the match indoors.
Junior Mihaela Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania/Emil Racovita) posted one of two wins on the afternoon taking the first match 6-4. Moldovan was down 5-2 in the second set before losing the set 6-4. In the tiebreaker, the reigning NCAA South Region Rookie of the Year, held the lead 4-2 and went on to win 6-4 at the number two singles position. At the number five position, rookie Roxanne Clarke (Cape Town, South Africa/Clapham) recorded the other point for FSU, winning the first match 6-4. The freshman was down in the second set 4-1 before forcing a third set tiebreaker with the 3-6 loss. Clarke went up 5-0 in the set eventually finishing the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.
Old Coach, New Tide
The match connected current Alabama head coach Jenny Mainz with a very familiar FSU program. Mainz was an assistant coach with the Seminoles from 1993-95 before joining the Tide’s program in 1997, after a stint with Iowa.
The Seminoles have lost four doubles matches over a total of seven contests (21 opportunities). Fourth-year head coach Lise Gregory has used five different combinations to fill in her lineup. So far, the switch has made the difference – FSU has won 10 of 14 matches in that area.
Auburn Match Brings FSU Rain
The Noles’ contest against Auburn on Thursday, February 12, 2004 was cancelled for the second time in as many years due to rain. Prior to Thursday, the match between FSU and Rice was postponed due to rain but played the following day at 8:30 a.m. Florida State eventually took the match 5-1, only playing singles.
Since the beginning of the spring 2004 season, the women’s tennis team has gotten off to a fast start, winning six of seven of their first team matches. Junior Mihaela Moldovan, the reigning ITA South Region Rookie of the Year, leads the team with seven wins, all at the number two positions. Senior Anca Dumitrescu and newcomer Lindsay Deason are second on the team in singles wins with five.