TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team (8-4, 1-3 ACC) knocked off the No. 26 North Carolina State Wolfpack (8-6, 0-2 ACC) 5-2 in a match that lasted no less than four hours and ten minutes on Sunday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. For the second consecutive season, sophomore Ariana Rahmanparast handled the pressure of being the deciding court and clinched the match for the Seminoles, gutting out a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Bianca Moldovan of NC State to clinch the Florida State victory.
“You want (Rahmanparast) on that court in that position,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “You feel confident when her back is against the wall- she takes a lot of pride in being those moments – she did fantastic job of taking care of her business and competing. She’s just so tough and has so much grit and so much will.”
Over three hours into the match, the score was 3-2 in favor of the Seminoles with sophomore Ariana Rahmanparast locked in a third set on court five and senior Daniela Schippers down 0-2 in a second set tiebreak to Adriana Reami on court four, needing to win to force a third set.
“It was great- Dany was there in the tiebreak and when she got it, it took a little pressure off of my match,” Rahmanparast said. “I was just thinking about last year and how good it felt and I wanted to do the same thing this year. Everyone did their job and we got the win, which is what really matters.”
With court five deep into the third set, Schippers dug deep and came back to pull out a 9-7 second set tiebreak victory. That allowed Rahmanparast to capitalize and defeat Moldovan 7-5 in the third set to win and clinch the victory for the Seminoles.
Last season, the match was tied at 3-3 when Rahmanparast defeated NC State’s Tayla Stenta 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in three sets to clinch the road victory for the Noles.
Florida State started the match on the right foot, winning the doubles point for the ninth time this year as freshman Andrea Garcia/sophomore Julia Mikulski defeated Bianca Moldovan/Claudia Wiktorin 6-1 and Daniela Schippers/ junior Gabriella Castaneda downed Amanda Rebol/Tayla Stenta 6-4.
In singles play, Castaneda would fall to No. 30 Martina Frantova on court one, but Garcia and fellow freshman Nandini Das quickly answered with straight-set wins to give the Seminoles a 3-1 advantage.
Mikulski would fall on court three to put the Wolfpack within reach at 3-2, but Rahmanparast and Schippers came through in the clutch to clinch the victory.
Schippers’ match was played out, and she was fittingly able to grab a 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 victory to close that match at 5-2 and cap the impressive victory for the Seminoles over a ranked opponent.
“This is our first real complete team win,” Hyde said. “It took every single person to win today. That’s college tennis- that’s why we do what we do, to have these moments. These girls worked really hard to create a moment for themselves today and I could not be more proud of them than I am right now.”
The Seminoles are now 24-4 all-time against the Wolfpack, good for the best record all-time against any ACC foe.
Next up, the Seminoles host an opponent from the Big Ten as Illinois comes to the Speicher Center this Friday March 10 at 2:00 p.m. The two teams have not played since 2010, but Florida State holds a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series over the Illini.
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