April 2, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – It took four years, but Florida State senior Alina Mihailescu finally earned her much-deserved shining moment.
The 5-foot-5 native of Constanta, Romania, upset the first ranked player of her career, No. 105 Tarryn Rudman, at the third slot and FSU sophomore Tapiwa Marobela also logged an upset over No. 76 Kelly Anderson as the Seminoles fell 5-2 to No. 14 Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon at Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
Marobela, a native of Gaborone, Botswana, competed at singles No. 5 and raced away with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Anderson. Mihailescu won 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(8).
Florida State dropped to 8-10 overall and 1-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while Tech improved to 16-3 on the season and a perfect 7-0 in league action.
“It was the first time I was really able to focus and not choke,” an always humble Mihailescu said. “I wanted this win so bad because I knew Rudman was ranked and a very tough competitor. For the last four matches I lost to ranked players in close matches. It’s frustrating to be right there and not be able to win, but luckily things went in my favor today and hopefully I hit a turning point in my career.”
Actually, unbeknownst to Mihailescu, today marked the seventh straight match she has played a nationally ranked player in singles.
“The higher in the lineup that she is playing, the harder she competes,” FSU head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “She showed a ton of heart and a ton of fight today. She got down 6-8 in the time breaker and displayed a lot of guts to come back and win. We are very happy for her. Both she and Taps committed to believing that they could win. The victory was a big hurdle for those two players for sure.”
The Yellow Jackets got on the board first with doubles victories at Nos. 1 and 3. The Seminoles’ Suzanna Mansour and Ania Rynarzewska claimed their third straight doubles win with an 8-3 victory over Anderson and Whitney McCray, 8-3, at the second slot.
In singles action, the top-ranked player in the country, Kristi Miller, defeated Ania Rynarzewska (6-1, 6-2) at No. 1 and No. 51 Lyndsay Shosho came from behind to win 6-0, 4-6, 1-0(8) against Nicola Slater at the second position. No. 61 Alison Silverio upended Suzanna Mansour 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 and Christy Striplin beat Whitney Eber 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 singles.
“The team meetings after the matches have been the same every time,” Hyde said. “Everyone knows we are so close. It’s just a matter of everyone playing well. Right now we have a couple of people playing well one day and the next day they don’t. I think everyone believes we are going to pull an upset once everything connects. It’s just a matter of when. We still have three regular season matches to go and I truly believe our team can get a big win.”
Florida State travels to Virginia and Virginia Tech next Saturday and Sunday. The team returns to Tallahassee for its home finale on Friday, April 14 against Duke at 2pm.