May 12, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The honors continue to pile up for the No. 12 Florida State women’s tennis team (15-8, 10-5 ACC) as they were selected for three of a possible seven ITA Regional awards. The Southeast region pairs the states of Florida and Georgia and consists of top programs such as FSU, Florida, Miami, UCF, South Florida, Georgia Tech and Georgia. After leading their team to one of the most successful seasons in program history, head coach Jennifer Hyde and associate head coach Oliver Foreman were both honored as the Regional Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year. For the second straight year a Seminole was also selected for the regional Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award, as senior Federica Suess was awarded.
The Regional Coach of the Year honor is the second such award for Hyde who won her first honor during the 2006-07 season. Hyde entered 2011, her seventh season as the Florida State head coach, with an 88-60 all-time record. By closing out the regular season with wins over No. 4 North Carolina and No. 3 Duke she earned the 99th and 100th wins of her career. Since becoming the head coach, Hyde has guided Florida State to four consecutive seasons ranked inside the ITA top 20 final rankings and five consecutive appearances in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. This season Hyde coached Florida State to only it third number one seed in the NCAA Championship first and second round, and a second appearance in the ACC Championships Title Match, the first being when she was an athlete on the 1994 Seminoles squad.
“I feel very proud to have been selected as the 2011 South Region Coach of the Year,” said Hyde. “Our region is full of so many successful coaches and programs, and to be chosen for this award this year is just amazing. At the end of the day, this award goes to the team and the team effort that has put this program where it is at this point in the season. I could not be more proud of this team and this serves as a real shot in the arm for all of us as we head in to the NCAA Championships.”
Foreman is in his sixth season with the Florida State program. Since joining Florida State, Foreman has helped guide Florida State to four consecutive seasons ranked in the ITA top 20 final rankings and five consecutive appearances in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. Foreman had previously won the ITA Regional and National Assistant Coach of the Year for the 2008-09 season.
“It’s a great honor to win an award of this magnitude in probably the strongest and deepest region in the country,” said Foreman. “There are so many good coaches out there and to be selected as the regional assistant coach of the year is just a testament to what the girls have accomplished this year, the hard work and dedication they have towards this team and each other.”
Hyde and Foreman have been an instrumental part in not only the development of the team on the court, but the `Noles excellence in the classroom as they team routinely carries the highest GPA amongst the Florida State athletic programs. The success on the court has been equally impressive, as the team began this past April with a 7-7 record and ranked No. 34 in the country. Since that time, Hyde and Foreman have seen their team peak leading them to eight consecutive wins before falling to No. 5 North Carolina 4-3 in the ACC Championships Title match. During the eight-match winning streak Florida State defeated No. 3 Duke (twice), No. 4 North Carolina, No. 11 Virginia, No. 26 Maryland, No. 46 Boston College and No. 50 Wake Forest (twice).
Following their remarkable run, Hyde and Foreman’s team moved up considerably to No. 18 at the end of the regular season and then jumped again to No. 11 in the ITA rankings, marking the highest the Seminoles have been ranked in school history. Overall Florida State has posted a 15-8 record in 2011 and a 10-5 record in the ACC which is arguably the deepest and most talented league in the country.
As one of the most successful players Florida State women’s tennis has seen, Suess has had a big hand in the Seminoles success not only this season but over the past four years. As Florida State’s all-time career singles wins leader with 104 triumphs, Suess has also represented FSU off the court where she is an active member of SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee), holds a 3.73 GPA in the classroom and was selected for the ACC Post Graduate Scholarship Award. Elected team captain for the 2010-11season, Suess’s leadership helped Florida State reach its fourth-consecutive appearance in the semifinals at the ACC Championship, and make a run to the ACC title match for only the second time in program history. Suess is the second Seminole in as many years to be selected for the regional Arthur Ashe award, as former Seminole Jessica Sucupira won the award last season.
The Seminoles will head out later this week to College Station, Texas for the NCAA Tennis Championships. The No. 12 ranked Seminoles will kick off the tournament on Saturday, May 14, against South Western Athletic Conference champions Southern University at 9:00 a.m. central time. The winner will face the winner of No. 31 Texas A&M and No. 32 SMU on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Seminole fans can follow the team on Facebook on the Florida State women’s tennis fan page and Twitter @FSU_WTennis.