Jan. 28, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 14 Florida State women’s tennis team (1-0, 0-0) will host No. 16 Texas (1-0, 0-0), No. 24 Washington (1-0, 0-0) and No. 37 Princeton (2-0, 0-0) at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend, which is considered the first and second rounds of the ITA Indoor Championships.
“We are all really excited to get this weekend started,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “Being able to play this event at on our turf is tremendous for us and it’s the first time we’ve had the honor of hosting this prestigious event at home. We want to make sure that take full advantage of playing outdoors with our home crowds supporting us. All four teams in this regional event are teams to be reckoned with, and we are looking forward to a few days of high level competition. We are playing for an opportunity to advance to the ITA Team National Indoor Sweet 16 for only the second time in history, so there a lot to play for this weekend. This is a great opportunity and we have worked very hard this week in preparation for these matches.”
Florida State is coming off a weekend where the team defeated Florida International 5-2. The Seminoles will begin their weekend with Princeton at 2:00pm. Texas and Washington will play each other earlier in the morning at 10:00am. The winners of the two matches will face each other at 2:00pm on Sunday while a consolation match will occur in the morning at 10am.
“We are really excited to go out and play as a team against Princeton,” said senior Katie Rybakova. “I haven’t played them since I have been here so it’s going to be exciting to play a different team, with different players and I know the competition level is going to be really tough this weekend. It’s going to be fun to go out and play at home, but we are all really excited to get it going and get it started on Saturday.”
While Princeton is an unfamiliar team to the Seminoles, Hyde believes that focusing on her team’s strengths will be what gives them the best preparation for the match.
“All we have to do is focus on our strengths and focus on the things we do well individually on the team,” said Hyde. “We have some people that like to come forward, some people that like to pitch tents in the back of the court and just outwork their opponent. I think the foundation of our program has been working points. That is one thing we have been trying to hit home with the girls is that we have be willing to stay out there and battle, so that is one thing we will have to start doing on Saturday.”
Although the Seminoles have never played Princeton before, one team they will be hoping to play is Texas who defeated the Seminoles a few years ago.
“I am dying for a rematch,” admitted Rybakova. “We played Texas my freshman year and it was a really tough match and hopefully we will get a chance to redeem ourselves against them this weekend.”
“We are all very excited obviously,” added senior Federica Suess. “This is one of the biggest tournaments of the year and it’s very early in the season, so it’s really exciting for us.”
As always, fans can follow the team on Seminoles.com, facebook and on twitter (@FSU_WTennis). Live Stats can be viewed here.