Jan. 30, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State freshmen Suzanna Mansour and Ania Rynarzewska put on an incredible performance in the No. 3 doubles tiebreaker to cap off Florida State’s thrilling 4-3 win over Auburn Monday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. Juniors Nicola Slater and Carolin Walter were also in on the dramatics as their win helped the Seminoles garner their much-needed doubles point.
“One of the things I was most excited about,” said Florida State head coach Jennifer Hyde, “was to see our freshmen play with that pressure and see how they handled it. It was an unbelievable team effort tonight. I thought it was amazing to see Suzanna and Ania, as two freshmen, step it up. They just decided they were going to do it and were so committed. They had huge guts and that’s why they won the match.”
Due to the chance of showers in the area, officials decided to play singles first and a 3-3 tie entering doubles action provided a spectacular showdown between the two schools. At court 2, Auburn’s Whitney Chappell and Tori Almagano took the first doubles match with an 8-4 win over sophomore Tapiwa Marobela and senior Alina Mihailescu. After tying it up 6-6 and 7-7, the Slater/Walters duo broke free and defeated Lee Tippins and Alex Haney 9-7 at doubles No. 1.
“At No. 1 doubles the players competed with a lot of heart,” said Hyde, who is in her second season as the net boss at Florida State. “We decided to move more and we were more aggressive than they were. We believed in what we were doing and it paid off.”
All eyes focused on court three as Mansour and Rynarzewska battled Ashley Cowart and Erin Gray for the win. The Seminole pair took a 7-5 lead before Auburn answered back and tied it up 8-8 to force a tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, Florida State jumped out to a quick 4-1 gain but the Tigers eventually evened it up at 5-all. However, Mansour and Rynarzewska showed their heroics and grabbed the final two points for the 7-5 win.
In singles play, No. 18 Walter needed just 40 minutes to roll over Cowart 6-1, 6-0 at court one for the first point. Mansour also won in straight sets for Florida State, defeating Tori Almagano 6-1, 6-0 at court five. The Seminoles earned their third point from Mihailescu as she upended Erin Gray 7-6(3), 6-3 at No. 6 singles.
FSU dropped matches at courts 2, 3, and 4. Rynarzewska fell in a 6-3, 6-3 battle to Chappell and Auburn’s Dzeljan Memisis rallied for a three-set victory (6-2, 6-4, 6-2) over Slater. In a match that lasted almost three hours, Marobela stumbled in a three-set affair against Alex Haney by scores of 6-7(4), 7-5, and 6-4.
“We have a lot to work on with singles,” commented Hyde. “We are not being aggressive enough in singles…we’re not taking advantage of our deep balls or short balls that we can move up and be aggressive on. However, the good thing that I am seeing is that they are competing really hard. They are leaving everything out there. All in all, I thought it was a very exciting win tonight.”
Florida State continues its home competition with a doubleheader Sunday against Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Live stats will be available.