TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team will kick off its 2014 fall season this weekend at the Furman Fall Classic in Greenville, S.C. and at the All-American Pre-Qualifying tournament in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Seminoles start off the 2014-15 season with the most players in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association preseason rankings since 2010. Seniors Daneika Borthwick and Kerrie Cartwright enter the year with the No. 9 doubles ranking – the highest doubles ranking in school history. Cartwright is also ranked No. 91 in the singles rankings, while newcomer transfer junior Yukako Noi comes in with the highest Seminole ranking at No. 79.
The All-American Pre-Qualifying tournament will begin on Saturday, September 27 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, home of the UCLA tennis program. Florida State will send its top three and most experienced players to California to face some of the best women’s collegiate tennis players in the nation. After finishing the 2013-14 season with a 13-5 record, the No. 9 ranked doubles pair of Borthwick and Cartwright will be given the chance to show what they can do.
“It gives me more confidence,” Cartwright said. “We are ranked. It is now time to show people what we have and what we can do. It is a good feeling. I am going to go with everything I have and try and do the best that I can no matter what.”
As well as playing doubles, Borthwick and Cartwright will also play in the singles pre-qualifying. Borthwick played in the pre-qualifying last season and posted a 1-1 record while defeating No. 66 Stephanie Pham of Utah in a three-set thriller.
“I love playing there,” Borthwick said. “It is a great tournament. The atmosphere is always great. It is very prestigious. It always gives you a little bit more motivation when you go to play there.”
Joining the two seniors at the pre-qualifying will be junior Yukako Noi. The Gojo, Japan native will represent the Garnet and Gold for the first time after she transferred from VCU. Noi was named to the Atlantic 10 First Team in 2013 and 2014.
Depending on the pre-qualifying results, each player has a chance to advance to the qualifiers and main draw at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. beginning next week.
Furman Fall Classic
Four Seminoles are headed to Greenville, S.C. to compete at the Furman Fall Classic beginning on Friday, September 26. Sophomore Daniela Schippers, redshirt freshman Emily Fanning, and freshmen Gabby Castaneda and Lana Rush will all be in action this weekend.
Castaneda and Rush will take part in their first collegiate tennis action.
“I’ve been waiting for it since I signed my National Letter of Intent,” Castaneda said. “I am just super excited for my first competition. I feel very confident.”
Her first competitive match won’t be easy as she is slated to face preseason ranked No. 39 junior Frances Altick of Vanderbilt in flight one. Rush’s first match will be against sophomore Karlee Bryde of Furman in flight four.
Fanning is back after an injury cut her season short last year. In her first competition since January, the Timaru, New Zealand native will go head-to-head against No. 114 ranked sophomore Brigit Folland of South Carolina in flight two.
“I am so excited to get back on the tennis court and to compete again,” Fanning said. “For me, there are no expectations. I just want to go back out there and enjoy being back competing again.”
Schippers, the most experienced Seminole competing at the Furman Fall Classic this weekend, posted a 10-11 singles record last season. She will face senior Joanna Henderson of Tennessee in flight three.
On the doubles side of the tournament, Schippers and Rush will pair up against No. 60 ranked Marie Casares and Frances Altick of Vanderbilt. Castaneda and Fanning will battle against Ansley Speaks and Alex Moreno of Furman. Both Florida State doubles matches will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday.
For more information on Florida State women’s tennis, follow the Seminoles on Twitter @FSU_WTennis and like their official Facebook page.