June 1, 2010
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After the most successful season in program history, the Florida State women’s tennis team was recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as it earned the highest final ranking in program history at No. 14.
“We are very excited to have earned an FSU Women’s Tennis Program All Time Best national ranking of #14,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “If I’m not mistaken, I believe my senior year at FSU back in 1994 had held the highest final ranking of #17 and for this year’s squad to eclipse that is very special. For decades, the same teams have tended to consistently hold the top 15 national ranking spots, and for us to knock on that door for the first time in history is a true credit to our squad this year and to the consistency which has been established in the program over the last 5 years. This was no easy feat, and this team should be very proud to have achieved this national status. More than ever, we have our sights set on that next level, the top 10 and beyond. We are proud of the direction and the state of the program, and we want to continue to rise in the coming years.”
Coming off its first ever NCAA Round of 16 appearance and boasting a No. 14 ranking, Florida State was chosen to be a host site for the 2011 ITA Kick Off Weekend January 28-31, 2011. The top 15 schools in the country are invited to host and the top three schools in each region earn an automatic entry to play.
For just the second time in program history, both under coach Hyde, Florida State was selected to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles opened play against North Florida, ranked No. 68 at the time, and posted a notable 4-0 score to defeat the opponent for the sixth time in school history. Next up was No. 18 South Carolina who led the all-time series record against FSU 13-1. Although coach Hyde had never faced the Gamecocks in her coaching career, the Seminoles had faced the foe twice in tournament history with both matches being losses. The Garnet and Gold kicked off the battle by winning the doubles point and continued controlling the courts in singles by winning three back-to-back points to capture the 4-0 triumph over USC and advance to the final site in Athens.
However, a Sweet Sixteen showing wasn’t the only first the Seminoles accomplished this season. Through numerous national and conference awards earned throughout the season, the 2010 Seminoles engraved their names throughout the records book several times.
‘Noles Honored By The ACC
In just her first year representing the Garnet and Gold, Francesca Segarelli made huge strides for FSU and was honored by the conference as she was named the 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year. Segarelli, ranked No. 103, had an immediate impact on the success of the team as she finished the season with a 19-16 overall singles record that included five wins over ranked opponents and a doubles mark of 21-18. For most of the season, Segarelli held the No. 3 spot for Florida State and owned an 8-6 record in the position. No strangers to receiving conference accolades, Lauren McCreless and Katie Rybakova also earned recognition as they both were named to the All-ACC Team for the third time in their career. McCreless, currently ranked No. 22, has owned the No. 1 position for the Seminoles all season. The Ogden, Utah, native holds a 14-8 singles’ mark in dual-match play including 10 victories over ranked players. In doubles, McCreless owned a 14-11 mark in dual-match play. In her third-consecutive All-ACC award, Rybakova was also a vital reason the ‘Noles were ranked in the top 25 all season. The Coral Springs, Fla., native held a 10-6 singles mark on court two and a 12-13 doubles record in dual-match play.
FSU Shocks No. 10 Duke At ACC Tournament
For the first time since 1986 No. 10 Duke did not advance to semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships as No. 15 Florida State stunned the defending National Champions with a 4-2 triumph at the Cary Tennis Park in North Carolina. With the triumph, FSU made its third-consecutive semifinal appearance, fourth overall, in program history. The Seminoles kicked off the exciting weekend by overpowering Maryland for the second time this season in a 4-0 victory. It was in the third round Florida State came to the end of the road as No. 1 North Carolina shut down the squad in a 4-0 win for the second time this season.
Seniors Setting The Tone
Seniors Lauren McCreless and Jessica Sucupira consistently led Florida State this season. On March 26, both Seminoles began the battle to see who would become FSU’s all-time career singles wins leader. After Sucupira posted her 94th career win on March 19, she tied with former Seminole Ali Weber in the record book for the most singles wins. However, McCreless wasn’t far behind as the Ogden, Utah native posted her 94th victory on March 26 to enter into the three-way tie. Both Seminoles continued to go back and forth for the next two matches until April 2nd when McCreless took the reins to become FSU’s all-time career singles wins leader as she posted her 96th triumph. Both Sucupira and McCreless continued to step up for the ‘Noles in several ways with McCreless being the highest ranked Seminole this season and Sucupira holding the best singles record of the season with a 27-10 mark. Throughout the season McCreless continued to impress in doubles and became FSU’s most winningest doubles player in program history. Holding both the top spot in both singles and doubles, McCreless ended the season as the most successful player in program history.
McCreless Honored By The ACC
After a successful weekend that saw the ‘Noles go undefeated with a 2-0 mark, senior Lauren McCreless was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Performer of the Week on April 6. Ranked No. 20 at the time, McCreless became FSU’s all-time career singles wins leader as she defeated No. 64 Martina Pavelec 7-5, 6-1 of Wake Forest to earn her 96th triumph. The Ogden, Utah native went on to dominate NC State’s No. 68 Sandhya Nagaraj 6-4, 6-2 the next day.
Duos Dodge Doubles Trouble
Coach Hyde entered the 2010 season with several goals- one of the most important being to improve in doubles to win the lead point. Hard work paid off as FSU won the 1-0 lead into singles a total of 13 times which catapulted the squad to win all those matches. Senior Lauren McCreless has been the most successful ‘Nole in doubles as she owned 24 victories this season with fellow senior Jessica Sucupira coming in next with 20 wins.
‘Noles In The Polls
The Florida State women’s tennis team continued to be a national powerhouse this season as they it was consistently ranked in the top 25 while having several ‘Noles ranked in singles. FSU held a ranking as high as No. 13 on the ITA National Rankings. Leading the way on the ITA Singles Rankings was Lauren McCreless as the senior was ranked as high as No. 20. Though she didn’t seen much action this season due to an injury, sophomore Noemie Scharle continued to be ranked in the top 70 and was ranked as high as No. 48, while freshman Francesca Segarelli and junior Katie Rybakova were featured on the list several times this season.