April 20, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 18 Florida State women’s tennis team (12-7, 7-4) begins play at the ACC Championships tomorrow, Thursday, April 21, against No. 61 Wake Forest (6-15, 0-11) at 12 p.m. Coming off two huge upset victories over No. 4 North Carolina and No. 3 Duke this past weekend, the `Noles have positioned themselves as the No. 5 seed while the Demon Deacons are the No. 12 seed. Matches will take place at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. The winner of the match will face No. 4 seed Virginia on Friday at 12 p.m.
“We are definitely on a wave of momentum right now, probably unlike any wave we have ever had before,” head coach Jennifer Hyde. “It certainly was good timing for us to come up with some big wins. The girls did an unbelievable job last weekend and they are competing like absolute warriors right now. I think we are in the perfect mindset heading into ACC’s tomorrow.”
Florida State enters this year’s ACC Championships with an all-time 21-19 record in the tournament. Having reached the conference semifinals from 2008-2010, the Seminoles enter the 2011 ACC Championship looking to better last year’s accomplishments in which the squad made their fourth semifinal appearance in program history. Last season, Florida State defeated Maryland 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals where they stunned No. 10 Duke 4-2 to prevent the Blue Devils from reaching the semifinals for the first time since 1986. The Seminoles then faced No. 1 North Carolina, in which they fell in a hard fought match, 4-0.
“You can only ride the high from the big wins for so long and we have definitely enjoyed the last couple days of that, but now it’s important we keep our heads down and stay focused on our first match of the tournament against Wake Forest,” said Hyde. “We don’t need to look any farther than Thursday at 12p.m. We will take the confidence we gained from this past weekend with us for the rest of the year, knowing we can beat the best teams in the country. At the same time we know we have a world of work ahead of us this next week.”
This season No. 35 senior Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.) leads the team with a 21-13 singles record and is 7-4 in the ACC. Sophomore Noemie Scharle (Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg) checks in at No. 56 in singles with a 16-9 record including 7-7 against ranked opponents. In doubles play, sophomore Francesca Segarelli (Rome, Italy) and freshman Ruth Seaborne (London, England) have teamed up as the No. 81 doubles team and have an 11-7 record this spring.
For Wake Forest Martina Pavelec is currently ranked No. 37 in singles while Kathryn Tablert and Kayla Duncan are No. 21 in doubles. The Seminoles defeated Wake Forest 6-1 earlier this month. It was the Seminoles from the very start as senior Federica Suess and sophomore Noemie Scharle defeated the nation’s No. 14 doubles tandem of Talbert and Duncan to give the Seminoles the point in doubles. After controlling the doubles portion of the match, the Seminoles gained more momentum early in singles, winning the first set on five of the six courts. The Seminoles finished the match by winning on five of the six courts, including senior Katie Rybakova’s 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 24 Pavelec.
“Right now it’s all about Wake Forest, the team we play next, and we will be ready to go Thursday,” said Hyde. “Every team we play in this league is good. There is not a weak link in this conference. The confidence we have right now is better than it’s been all season long and that has been a work in progress for these young ladies. We just need to keep our heads down, and we have to stay humble and take those last few big wins and put them in our back pockets. We are ready and excited to battle it out for a shot at a Championship this week.”
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