Cary, N.C. – A month after getting shutout in Tallahassee against No. 16 Virginia, the FSU women’s tennis team put up a valiant effort in the second round of the ACC Tournament before falling to the Cavaliers, 4-3, Thursday afternoon at the Cary Tennis Park. The loss likely ends the Seminoles chances of reaching the NCAA Tournament after they entered the ACC Tournament No. 60 in the nation.
Similar to Wednesday’s opener against Boston College, the Seminoles (14-13) used wins on Courts 1 and 2 to enter singles play with a 1-0 lead. Senior Yukako Noi and sophomore Gabriella Castaneda improved to 5-1 playing together on the season with a 6-2 clinching victory over No. 16 Danielle Collins and Meghan Kelley on Court 1.
In singles, the matches were tight throughout before Virginia clinched the match with a victory on Court 3. The Cavaliers took a 2-1 lead with wins on Court 1 by No. 2 Collins over No. 38 Daneika Borthwick, 6-0, 6-3, and on Court 4 by Kelley over freshman Julia Mikulski, 6-3, 6-2.
FSU won the next two points with its lone singles victories on Court 6 from Daniela Schippers over Cassie Mercer, 6-3, 6-4, and freshman Ariana Rahmanparast on Court 5 over Erica Susi, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
On Court 2, No. 16 Julia Elbaba beat Castaneda, 7-5, 6-1, to knot the score at 3-3. After being tied at 5-5 in the first set, Elbaba won the next two games on deuce points before running away with the second set.
Fighting back from a first set loss, Noi and Virginia’s No. 85 Stephanie Nauta were in a close third set that would determine the match. Nauta went up 2-0 early before Noi responded and eventually took a 5-4 lead and serving for the match. However, Nauta would break to make the score 5-5, hold serve, and break again for a 6-1, 6-7, 7-5 win that moved the Cavaliers into Friday’s quarterfinals against four-seed Duke.
For the Seminoles, their season will end much like it did last season, with a heartbreaking loss in the ACC Tournament. Borthwick should be selected to play in the NCAA Singles Championships when the final bracket is revealed May 3.
Head Coach Jennifer Hyde
“Today’s loss is one of the toughest we’ve experienced this year. The girls put themselves in position to knock off the No. 16 team in the country and the five-seed in this tournament, and we were four points away from making that happen. I could not be more proud of the fight and toughness that they exhibited not just today, but the whole semester and year.
“Everyone did everything they could have done up and down the line in that match, and we were four points short. As a coach, that’s all you can ask of your kids. They put themselves in position to win and we left everything, blood, sweat and tears, out on those courts today. I’m endlessly proud of that effort. I hate it for them they weren’t able to come out on the top end today, but Virginia played well and Stephanie (Nauta) played incredibly big tennis at the end of that match. She stepped up and we couldn’t do anything. Yuki fought and was loving every minute of it, she was in the moment, smiling and was going to win it. Credit to Virginia for stepping up when they needed.”
– The loss snapped a four-match win streak, the programs’ longest since 2013..
– Borthwick’s 81 singles wins (9th all-time) and 75 doubles wins (t-8th) place her on the school’s all-time wins charts.
– ACC Tournament Career: Borthwick 3-5 (S), 5-5 (D); Schippers 4-3 (S), 2-1 (D); Castaneda 3-2 (S), 5-0 (D); Noi 3-2 (S), 3-3 (D); Phillips 0-1 (D); Rahmanparast 2-0 (S), 0-2 (D); Mikulski 0-2 (S), 0-1 (D).
The Seminoles have finished the season at 14-13 overall and 4-10 in the ACC Regular Season. Senior Daneika Borthwick, ranked No. 38, should be one of the 64 singles participants in next month’s NCAA Individual Championships.
For more information on Florida State tennis, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_WTennis), Facebook (http://seminolesweb-8b76.kxcdn.com/FSU.WTennis), and Instagram (@FSUWTennis).
#16 Virginia def. #60 Florida State, 4-3
April 21, 2016 – Cary Tennis Park, Cary, N.C.
#2 Danielle Collins (UVA) def. #38 Daneika Borthwick (FSU), 6-0, 6-3
#16 Julia Elbaba (UVA) def. Gabriella Castaneda (FSU), 7-5, 6-1
#85 Stephanie Nauta (UVA) def. Yukako Noi (FSU), 6-1, 6-7, 7-5
Meghan Kelley (UVA) def. Julia Mikulski (FSU), 6-3, 6-2
Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU) def. Erica Susi (UVA), 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
Daniela Schippers (FSU) def. Cassie Mercer (UVA), 6-3, 6-4
Castaneda/Noi (FSU) def. #16 Collins/Kelley (UVA), 6-2
Borthwick/Schippers (FSU) def. Mercer/Nauta (UVA), 6-1
Elbaba/Susi (UVA) def. Mikulski/Rahmanparast (FSU), 6-1
Order of Finish: Singles – 1,4,6,5,2,3; Doubles – 2,3,1