TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team looked strong at the first day of the Bedford Cup in Jacksonville, Fla. The Seminoles had five singles and four doubles victories to finish with a 9-4 overall record on the day.
“Being out on the courts all day and competing our hearts out as a team at an individual event is exactly what we want to be known for,” Assistant Coach Zsuzsanna Fodor said.
Florida State came into this season with two players in the ITA preseason singles rankings and both were able to come out on top on Friday.
No. 79 ranked Yukako Noi struggled in the early going in her match against Florida’s Spencer Liang, but was able to find her stroke in the second set to take control of the match. Noi defeated Liang in three sets 2-6, 6-1, 6-0.
Senior Kerrie Cartwright holds a No. 91 ranking. The Nassau, Bahamas native was in a three set dogfight with Olaya Garrido and came out victorious after dropping the first set and being down 3-4 at one point in the second set, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5.
The one Seminole off to the best start this season is freshman Gabby Castaneda. She entered the Bedford Cup undefeated after stringing three straight singles wins in a row to begin her career. Castaneda’s success continued against Nina Nagode from FIU as she took care of business in a straight set victory 6-1, 6-3.
In the most impressive match of the day Castaneda paired up with teammate Emily Fanning to face UF’s Liang and Peggy Porter. The Florida State freshmen duo dug itselves a deep hole going down 2-7 against the Gators. With their backs against the wall, Castaneda and Fanning fought back to win five straight to force a tiebreaker and was able to win 8-6.
“Gabby and Emily were able to come back from a 7-2 deficit by consistently creating opportunities and playing aggressive,” Fodor said.
The young Seminoles also won their first doubles match of the morning with a victory over Courtney Ceasarini and Sofia Baptista of UCF, 8-6.
Fanning kept that momentum and was sharp in her singles bout, cruising to victory over Miami’s Judith Bohnenkamp 6-1, 6-0.
“Emily had an exceptional day today, controlling the points from the first shot until she hit the winner,” Fodor said.
Cartwright and partner Daneika Borthwick are the No. 9 doubles team in the nation. After falling in their first match 6-8, the talented pair continued to play hard and won their second match against Elizabeth and Sarah Means of FGCU, 8-4.
The other Florida State true freshman sensation has been Lana Rush. Playing in just her second collegiate tournament she found herself down after the first set. Rush was able to keep focus to win the next two sets to defeat Baptista, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
“We really look forward to competing hard again in tomorrow’s matches and to enjoy the heat of the battle,” Fodor said.
Doubles and singles play will resume on Saturday at 9 a.m. at the UNF Tennis Complex in Jacksonville.
For more information on Florida State women’s tennis, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WTennis and like their official Facebook page.
No. 79 Yukako Noi (FSU) def. Spencer Liang (UF) 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 91 Kerrie Cartwright (FSU) def. Olaya Garrido (USF) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
Silvia Fuentes (UM) def. Daneika Borthwick (FSU) 6-3, 6-1
Gabby Castaneda (FSU) def. Nina Nagode (FIU) 6-1, 6-3
Nerma Cazuk (FIU) def. Daniela Schippers (FSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Emily Fanning (FSU) def. Judith Bohenkamp (UM) 6-1, 6-0
Lana Rush (FSU) def. Sofia Baptista (UCF) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Olaya Garrido/Vera Bessonova (USF) def. No. 9 Daneika Borthwick/Kerrie Cartwright 8-6
Caroline Eberhart/Keenan Johnson (UCF) def. Yukako Noi/Lana Rush (FSU) 8-3
Gabby Castaneda/Emily Fanning (FSU) def. Courtney Ceasarini/Sofia Baptista (UCF) 8-6
No. 9 Daneika Borthwick/Kerrie Cartwright (FSU) def. Elizabeth Means/Sarah Means (FGCU) 8-4
Yukako Noi/Lana Rush (FSU) def. Elysia Ortiz/Symone Townsend (FAMU) 8-3
Gabby Castaneda/Emily Fanning (FSU) def. Spencer Liang/Peggy Porter (UF) 8-6