May 19, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – For the first time since 1994, the Florida State women’s tennis team will travel two Seminoles to compete at the NCAA Singles Championship in College Station Texas at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. Sophomore Katie Rybakova and freshman Noemie Scharle will represent the Garnet and Gold and look to surpass the round of 64 for the second time in program history as they open the first round of the championships Wednesday, May 20.
“We are very excited to get to Texas and the NCAA Singles Individual Championship,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “It’s an honor to have two Seminoles representing Florida State at this prestigious event, and Katie and Noemie have very much earned the privilege to be playing among the nation’s best. They both had great individual seasons and deserve the chance to be playing for All-American and National Championship honors. They have practiced hard and are excited to get started with the Championships.”
Ranked 50th in the nation, Rybakova travels to the championships for the second consecutive year. At the 2008 tournament, the Coral Springs, Fla. native fell to USC’s Gabriela Niculescu 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8). The Seminole will face Notre Dame’s No. 38 Kristy Frilling at 11 a.m. Rybakova enters the match with a 13-12 overall record on courts one and two. Throughout the season, Rybakova posted 10 nationally-ranked opponent victories including No. 5 Fani Chifchieva from Auburn in the 2009 NCAA Tournament to help lead FSU to the second round. The sophomore has been consistently ranked all season and even earned a spot on the All-ACC team for the second year in a row. Rybakova learned how to battle early in the season with her stint at the 2008 Riviera/ITA All-American Championships where she trumped two nationally-ranked opponents and left the championships with a 2-1 record.
No. 35 Scharle has been the highest ranked Seminole throughout the season and has proven to be one of the most consistent players on the squad. After arriving on campus in January, the freshman has not stopped turning heads, defeating several nationally-ranked opponents including No. 28 Georgia Rose in her first match of the season in which the Colmar Berg, Luxembourg native earned ACC Performer of the Week honors. Scharle enters her first individual championships with an impressive 14-6 overall record on courts one, two and three. After being switched between courts one and two at the start of the spring season, Hyde kept Scharle on court two after noticing her powerful hitting that shows in a 13-3 record. The newcomer will face No. 60 Jenni Heinser of San Francisco at 2:00 p.m.
Keep up with Seminoles progression throughout the championships with live stats on www.seminoles.com.