TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State women’s tennis team had an impressive fall showing as they garnered a combined .573 singles winning percentage and a .667 doubles winning percentage, to go along with four singles championships and one doubles championship in flight play throughout the fall tournament season. The Seminoles finished the fall as one of only 22 schools with two singles players and one doubles pair ranked in the ITA end of fall rankings.
“I feel like the fall season was very productive for us, with some very solid singles and doubles performances across the board for our players,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “We have established a depth in our program that I’m not sure we have seen before, and this is keeping the bar very high in our practices and matches.”
Not only did the Seminoles have plenty of success, but they also welcomed in their new Assistant Coach, Matej Zlatkovic. Zlatkovic came to Tallahassee from Rice, where as an assistant, he helped lead the Owls to a 15-9 record as well as a C-USA runner-up finish and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
During the fall, the Seminole’s leader in singles wins was senior Ana Oparenovic, who finished the fall ranked No. 125 in singles. She was not far behind in the doubles win column as she earned a 5-4 doubles record to go with her 10-3 singles record. Oparenovic highlighted her fall by winning the consolation draw of the ITA Southeast Regional. She finished off the fall with a singles Flight Championship at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown.
Sophomore Emmanuelle Salas shined bright as well. In her first semester of competition, the sophomore from France impressed. She went 7-5 in singles with two nationally ranked wins and was second on the team in doubles wins with seven. Alongside doubles partner and countrywoman Carla Touly, Salas earned third place in their doubles Flight at the Furman Fall Classic. Salas also made an impressive run in the ITA All-American qualifying draw coming up one match short of moving on to the main draw in singles and doubles with Touly. She finished the fall season with a Flight doubles championship with partner Andrea Garcia at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown.
Junior Nandini Das finished off the fall with a 7-4 singles record that included a singles flight championship at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown and a third-place finish in her flight at the Furman Fall Classic. Das also finished the fall with a 6-4 doubles record, all with senior Ariana Rahmanparast. The two Seminoles made a three-match run in the All-American pre-qualifying draw to advance into the qualifying draw of this prestigious event.
Senior Ari Rahmanparast had a solid fall showing as well, finishing with a 5-4 singles record and an 8-5 doubles record. Along with advancing out of doubles pre-qualifying at All-Americans, Ariana won her singles flight at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown for the second year in a row, going undefeated in the final fall tournament of her stellar career.
After an impressive first year, junior Carla Touly began the fall ranked 11th in the nation, and had a nice fall campaign to back it up. Touly had three wins over ranked opponents, two in the top-20, and was selected for the main draw at All-American Championships. She lost in the first round to the 10th ranked player in the nation but bounced back to take the next two matches to make it to the semifinals of the consolation draw, where she was two points away from advancing to the final round. Those results, combined with her quarterfinals finish at the ITA South Regional Championships qualified her to compete in another prestigious national event, the ITA Fall Championships in Arizona. Touly once again lost in the first round before bouncing back and winning in the consolation bracket, making it all the way to the round of 16. She ended the fall ranked No. 39 in the singles rankings.
In doubles, Touly went 4-3 all with fellow country mate Emmanuelle Salas. The two defeated two nationally ranked opponents together and came up one match short of qualifying for the main draw at All-Americans. The pair finished the fall ranked No. 40 in doubles.
Senior Julia Mikulski ended the fall with a 5-3 singles record to go along with a 6-4 doubles record. She began the fall with a singles flight runner-up finish at the Furman Fall Classic to go along with a doubles flight back draw championship with partner Andrea Garcia. Mikulski won two matches at the ITA Southeast Regionals, advancing to the round of 16.
Sophomore Andrea Garcia had a stellar doubles season with partners Julia Mikulski and Emmanuelle Salas. She earned a combined 7-3 doubles record with both partners, earning a flight back draw championship at the Furman Fall Classic with Mikulski and a flight Championship with Salas at the Seminole All-Conference Showdown. Garcia also won the singles flight Championship at the All-Conference Showdown to finish the fall season.
Sophomore Petra Hule capped off the fall with a 2-5 singles record and a 4-3 doubles record. Hule began the fall ranked 80th in singles and 28th in doubles with partner Ana Oparenovic. Coming off a minor injury from the fall season, the Noles will look to Petra’s return to form for the upcoming dual match season.
The Florida State women’s tennis team looks to take their momentum from the fall into a loaded spring season, which includes a 5-week home slate of matches to be played at our Indoor Tennis Facility. The first matches take place on January 11th with a doubleheader against Florida Atlantic and Mercer, followed by a matchup of two teams that finished 2018 ranked in the top-25 as the Noles take on in-state rival UCF. The Garnet and Gold will host the first two rounds of the ITA Indoor Team Championships/Kick-Off weekend in Tallahassee, with the Noles playing Tennessee on January 25th and either LSU or Clemson for a chance to advance to the final site in Seattle, Wash.
“There is no doubt that our spring season will expose us to some of the best tennis competitions you can have in college tennis, and those challenges will be amazing to experience with this group,” said Hyde. “Last season, this team was in the middle of some pressure-cooker types of situations, so they have learned and know how to respond when things get tough. Those experiences, along with the training and competitions from the fall season, have poised this team for what’s ahead. There is a lot of work ahead, a lot of fun to be had and more big moments to be created in 2019. We are very excited to kick the spring season off in just a few weeks.”
To keep up with the Seminoles, check Seminoles.com for the latest news and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_WTennis), Facebook (/FSUWTennis), and Instagram (@FSUWTennis).