May 18, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As another season of Florida State women’s tennis came wrapped up, junior Francesca Segarelli captured Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship by the ITA for the Southeast Region earlier this week.
“I am very proud to win this award,” Segarelli said. “Everything I do is for the goodness of the team, who is like my family. I want us to succeed together, and we all enjoy the roles we play as Seminoles. My team is what motivates me and I can only hope that I can keep contributing.”
Established in 1997 in honor of Penn’s women’s tennis coach, Cissie Leary, this award is given to the player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, enhancing the team’s overall performance while exemplifying the true spirit of college tennis. During the course of the season, Segarelli demonstrated exactly that.
“I’m so pleased for Fran and proud that she has been recognized in our region as this year’s Cissie Leary Leadership Award winner,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “As our team’s internal ‘go to’ person this year in a season filled with so many challenges and much adversity, Fran’s leadership was crucial as we moved through the season.”
During the 2012 season, Segarelli stepped up while playing on four different courts for the Seminoles as she concluded her season on a six-match winning streak in singles, including three wins in the postseason. In addition, she was 10-3 in ACC play and snatched two victories over ranked opponents in crucial situations.
For 11 matches, Segarelli teamed up on the doubles courts with sophomore Ruth Seaborne. The duo debuted in the rankings in the No.39 spot after it knocked off the then No.15 and No.38 pairs in one weekend. The pair went 9-2 over the course of the spring.
Demonstrating commanding play on the court, it was her leadership and sacrifice for the team is what stuck out to her teammates, coaches and the rest of the Florida State athletic community. She is also a member of the Student-Athletic Advisory Council.
“She has earned this award through her selfless commitment to team above all else, which can sometimes be a taxing and frustrating position to take on in an intimate team setting,” Hyde said. “I’m very proud of Fran and hope she realizes the magnitude of exactly what this award represents.”
Segarelli contributed to an overall team record of 13-11 and a sixth-straight Seminoles NCAA appearance.