May 15, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
COLLEGE STATION, TX. – The No.12 Florida State women’s tennis team (16-9, 10-5 ACC) wrapped up the 2011 season Sunday, May 15 as it fell to No. 32 SMU (23-5) 4-3 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. With the loss the Seminoles will not advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, but will walk away with many other accomplishments this season.
“SMU was just too good today,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “They hit one more ball than we did. They fought a little harder than we did. I am super proud of our team because they fought as well but we just came up a little short today. All the credit goes to SMU.”
FSU began the match a little slow in doubles as the Mustangs won 8-0 on court one and held a commanding 5-2 lead on court three. The momentum started to shift as the Seminoles secured their first victory in doubles on court two as sophomore Francesca Segarelli (Rome Italy) and freshman Ruth Seaborne (London, England) defeated Edyta Cieplucha and Heather Steinbauer, 8-3. The dynamic duo of sophomore Amy Sargeant (Walsall, England) and senior Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.) then completed their furious comeback on court three with an 8-5 victory over Shahzoda Hatamova and Ashley Turpin to secure the doubles point for the Seminoles. With the victory the Seminoles have won on courts two and three for the second time this weekend.
The Seminoles started off slow again in singles falling in the first set on four courts. The team would fight back in the second set to push third set battles on four of the courts. Amy Sargeant stepped up big for the `Noles once again today as the sophomore won 6-0, 6-2 over the Mustangs Ashley Turpin 6-0, 6-2 on court six pushing the Seminoles out to a 2-0 lead. SMU would respond with a victory on court one as No. 9 Marta Lesniak defeated Katie Rybakova 6-1, 5-7, 6-0. The Mustangs would then even the match with a win on court three as sophomore Noemie Scharle (Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg) fell in a second set tie breaker 6-1, 7-6 (9-7) to Aleksandra Malyarchikova.
The Seminoles would again take the lead as Seaborne fought back from losing the first set to defeat SMU’s Heather Steinbauer 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 to give the Seminoles a 3-2 lead. SMU would answer right back with a 6-2, 6-4 victory on court five.
With their backs against the wall and all the momentum on SMU’s side the team fought back as they have all season.
With her teammates and Seminole fans cheering her on, Segarelli fought all the way back from down 5-0 to tie the third set at 5-5. Despite the valiant effort, SMU’s Edyta Cieplucha would eventually clinch the match to prevent Florida State from advancing to their second straight Sweet 16.
With the victory SMU ties the all-time series record against FSU to 3-3. The last time the Seminoles faced SMU was in 1992 when Hyde was an athlete at Florida State.
Despite the loss, Florida State concluded the 2011 season with several milestones set. Not only did the program win eight straight matches including wins over No. 3 Duke (twice), No. 4 North Carolina and No. 11 Virginia, but the team advanced to the ACC Championship for the second time in FSU history. The team also made many individual strides.
As two of the most memorable Seminoles in history, senior Federica Suess (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and Rybakova leave the team as two of the most successful players to wear the garnet and gold. Suess finished with a school record 104 career victories in singles while Rybakova will hang her uniform as the second most winningest player in singles with 103 career wins.
Although the season is over for the team, competition is far from over for Rybakova and Scharle as they will turn their attention now to the NCAA Individual Tournament beginning May 25th at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif.
For more information regarding the NCAA Tournament, please go to www.seminoles.com and www.ncaa.org. Keep up with the latest women’s tennis news on Facebook on the Florida State women’s tennis fan page and Twitter @FSU_WTENNIS.
No. 32 SMU 4 No. 12 FSU 3
NCAA Second Round
George P. Mitchell Tennis Center
College Station, Texas
1. #9 Marta Lesniak (SMU) (#31) def. Katie Rybakova (FSU) 6-1, 5-7, 6-0
2. Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) def. Francesca Segarelli (FSU) def. 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
3. #124 Aleksandra Malyarchikova (SMU) def. #51 Noemie Scharle (FSU) 6-1, 7-6 (9-7)
4. Ruth Seaborne (FSU) def. Heather Steinbauer (SMU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
5. Shahzoda Hatamova (SMU) def. Federica Suess (FSU) 6-3, 6-4
6. Amy Sargeant (FSU) def. Ashley Turpin (SMU) 6-0, 6-1
Doubles (FSU wins the point)
1. #57 Lesniak/Malyarchikova (SMU) def. Suess/Scharle (FSU) 8-0
2. #51 Seaborne/Segarelli (FSU) def. Cieplucha/Steinbauer (SMU) 8-3
3. Sargeant/Rybakova (FSU) def. Hatamova/Turpin (SMU) 8-5
Order of finish: Doubles: 1, 2, 3*; Singles: 6, 1, 3, 4, 5, 2*