May 8, 2008
All week leading up the Seminoles’ first home-hosted NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships, Seminoles.com is taking an inside look at the talented parts that make up one of the best Florida State women’s tennis squads in school history.
For part the final part of the series, Seminoles.com looks at the two players on this year’s Florida State squad who are most likely to turn the pages of the FSU history books into personal testaments of their dominance.
After becoming just the 10th Seminole in school history to post more than 20 wins in her first season at Florida State, sophomore Lauren Macfarlane had her own bar set as high as it could be entering her second year of play. But the Utah-native has made a few major leaps to clear the hurdle again with a 17-6 dual match record and a handful of powerful wins at the Seminoles’ number two spot.
Macfarlane posted an incredible 11-1 record in the Seminoles’ second spot, including two huge victories over No. 58 Megan Alexander of Florida and No. 28 Elena Gantcheva of UNLV. Her prowess on the court earned Macfarlane her second-straight All-ACC honor. As she enters the post-season with a 24-10 overall singles record, Macfarlane seems on pace to place the bar even higher for next year.
The Seminoles’ anchor player this year is freshman phenom Katie Rybakova. Ranked No. 16 in the country to start the season, Rybakova has proved she’s got a bigger reputation than her tiny frame can hold. The Russian-native who calls Coral Springs, Fla. home now, has a 2-1 record against Top 15 opponents with a pair of huge victories over Duke’s #14 Ellah Nze and Georgia Tech’s #4 Amanda McDowell.
Rybakova is the only freshman on the team to earn time on court one and with a 7-5 record to show for her efforts it’s easy to see why. With a six-match win streak to finish the regular season, Rybakova is headed for big places beyond the post-season and well into her next three years as a Seminole.
Florida State’s bid for the 2008 NCAA Tennis Championship begins tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. against the Samford Bulldogs at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Fans are encouraged to come out and show their support for the Garnet and Gold in the team’s biggest match of the season.