May 13, 1999
TALLAHASSEE, FL. — The 21-6 Florida State women’s tennis team will meet the 16-8 Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, May 15th, at 1pm. The match will be played at the Courtney Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.
Guiding the Lady Seminoles to their fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance, third year head coach Lise Gregory is pleased with the team’s preparation prior to their first round match with the Iowa Hawkeyes.
“Everybody’s rested, everybody’s fresh,” said Gregory. “At the end of the season we were tired as a team, this week gave us a chance to work on some things. I like our chances, but Iowa is very good.
The Lady Seminoles will face a red-hot Hawkeye team that has won five of its last six matches, with its last loss coming against Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. This is the first time in school history that the University of Iowa has made the NCAA Tournament field. Florida State and Iowa have met only once previously, when the Lady Seminoles defeated the Hawkeyes, 7-2, in the 1982-83 season. Iowa has already faced host Notre Dame earlier this season, falling 8-1 in South Bend.
FSU freshman Alida Gallovits will face the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year, Iowa’s Toni Neykova at No. 1 singles. Gallovits is 14-12 this season at No. 1, while Neykova is 8-14. Gallovits and Neykova will meet again at No. 1 doubles, where Gallovits teams with sophomore Nanette Duxin to form the country’s 47th-ranked doubles tandem. Neykova teams with Shera Wiegler to form Iowa’s No. 1 doubles duo and they are currently ranked 38th in the country.
The Seminoles look to continue their winning ways in singles play, as they have won an average of four of six singles matches in their dual-matches this season. FSU’s Jessica Balbuena, will face Iowa’s team leader in wins, Emily Bampton, at No. 4 singles. Bampton leads the Hawkeyes with 25 wins, and Balbuena is third in wins for the Lady Seminoles with 26. FSU’s team leader in wins, freshman Marina Raic with 31, will face Iowa’s Natalya Dawaf at No. 3 singles. Dawaf has bounced between No. 2 and No. 3 singles all season long for the Hawkeyes, winning 7 of 9 matches at No. 3 and 5 of 14 matches at No. 2 singles. ACC Flight Champion at No. 6 singles, FSU’s Ali Weber, will have a tough match against Iowa’s Erin Wolverton. Wolverton was 14-3 at No. 6 this dual-match season.
The winner of the Iowa-FSU matchup will play on Sunday at 11am against the winner of the match between 12th-ranked Notre Dame and Midwestern Collegiate Conference Champion Illinois-Chicago for the chance to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Gainesville, Florida, May 22-30.