Norfolk, Va. (Tallahassee, Fla.) – The FSU women’s tennis team began 2016 in much the same way it ended 2015 – with a down-to-the-wire victory against a ranked opponent away from Tallahassee. This time, 57th-ranked Old Dominion was the victim as the Seminoles posted a 5-2 win against the Lady Monarchs at the Folkes Stevens Tennis Center in Norfolk.
In doubles, junior Daniela Schippers and sophomore Gabriella Castaneda rallied from two match points down in doubles, eventually winning the final four games and giving the Seminoles the doubles point with a 7-5 victory on Court 3.
Freshman Julia Mikulski, playing her first match as a Seminole after enrolling earlier this month, was the first Nole off the court in singles, posting a 6-2, 6-1 victory on Court 4 and giving FSU a 2-0 lead.
Old Dominion earned its first point after freshman Ariana Rahmanparast had to retire in the second set on Court 3, but the Seminoles responded with a straight-set victory on Court 6 from sophomore Lana Rush.
Senior Yukako Noi clinched the match for the Seminoles with a 7-6, 6-3 win on Court 5.
“The girls did a great job today against a very good Old Dominion team. Today was a complete team effort by our girls, with everyone having a hand in the win.”
“Dany and Gabby did a great job fighting back to win the set. They both made some necessary adjustments in order to control play exactly how we needed. They just kept after it and didn’t go anywhere, and took total control. They showed such heart and courage to dig themselves out of the hole they were in to clinch the doubles point. You can’t teach or coach someone to have heart like that. You either have it or you don’t.”
“Gabby played a very close 6-4 6-4 match where the difference in the match came down to a few crucial points. The level of play was very high on both sides of the net.”
“After a somewhat slow start in singles, and after winning the first set 7-6, Lana found her focus and took care of her second set 6-1 for our third point. This was exactly what our team needed from Lana, and she did a good job taking care of her court.”
“I’m very happy that Yuki was able to clinch our fourth point. She did a good job of working to play point by point, slowly finding her footing in her first match back. Today was a mentally challenging day for her, and she did an amazing job to stay the course and finish the job.”
“Daneika always shows a tremendous amount of fight and poise, and hates to lose more than most. Today was one of those days for her where she had to work hard at hanging in there when she wasn’t necessarily playing her best, and find a way to grind a bit more each point. Big guts by her today to win a 3rd set 10-point breaker and pick up our fifth point of the day.”
Florida State improved to 10-2 in season openers under Hyde and have started 1-0 six straight seasons.
It was the first meeting between the Seminoles and Lady Monarchs.
Florida State will continue its four-match road trip to begin the season Monday at No. 65 Tulane. That match begins at 12:00 pm ET.
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).
#37 Florida State 5, #57 Old Dominion 2
January 16, 2016 – Folkes Stevens Tennis Center, Norfolk, Va.
Daneika Borthwick (FSU) def. Nikol Hristova (ODU), 4-6, 7-6, 1-0 (10-4)
Nataliya Vlasova (ODU) def. Gabby Castaneda (FSU), 6-4, 6-4
Ingrid Vojcinakova (ODU) def. Ariana Rahmanparast (FSU), 7-6, ret.
Julia Mikulski (FSU) def. Adriana Rajkovic (ODU), 6-2, 6-1
Yukako Noi (FSU) def. Marijana Novakovic (ODU), 7-6, 6-3
Lana Rush (FSU) def. Ivana Vukovic (ODU), 7-6, 6-1
#41 Borthwick/Noi (FSU) def. Hristova/Novakovic (ODU), 6-3
Rajkovic/Vlasova (ODU) def. Mikulski/Rush (FSU), 6-4
Castaneda/Daniela Schippers (FSU) def. Vojcinakova/Vukovic (ODU), 7-5
Order of Finish – Singles: 4,3,6,2,5,1; Doubles: 1,2,3