March 12, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 36 Florida State women’s tennis team (5-4, 1-1) will host its first Atlantic Coast Conference home match of the 2011 season Sunday, March 11, as they face No. 19 Clemson Tigers (10-5, 0-2) at 12 p.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
“We have a big match against Clemson on Sunday,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “They are the one team we haven’t defeated since I have been at Florida State, so we are definitely looking forward to this opportunity.”
As the fifth top 20 team FSU will have played in 2011, Clemson enters the match with three ranked players in No. 15 Josipa Bek, No. 58 Keri Wong and No. 104 Klara Vyskocilova. The Tigers also bring in the nation’s No. 3 doubles tandem in Bek and Wong. While the Tigers are certainly a formidable foe for the Seminoles, the team knows that every match going forward will be a challenge.
“Every ACC match is big,” said Hyde. “There is not a date from here on our out where it’s not a big match for us, and we are just looking forward to the challenge.”
One thing the Seminoles have on their side is they are always a fierce competitor when playing in front of their home crowd.
“We take pride in defending our courts when playing at home,” said Hyde. “Our crowds are great at home and we love having their support as we want to continue being one of the nation’s best in attendance. I think the more success we have, the greater the crowds continue to grow as we continue to develop as a program.”
Overall the Tigers lead the all-time series record against FSU 18-8 with the last meeting being in 2010 where the `Noles fell on the road to Clemson 5-2 in the ACC season opener. While Clemson holds the edge in the series history, Hyde has her players very focused on this match as they look to get their second win against a top 20 ACC opponent.
“We are really focused on getting a big win against Clemson this Sunday,” said senior Federica Suess. “Having that loss to South Florida was a real bummer for us, and we need this win to bounce back and put us among the top ACC schools where we feel we belong.”
The players also know the significance that beating Clemson for the first time since 2001 would do for the teams confidence.
“Every time you beat a team for the first time it really opens up doors because down the road, whether it’s the ACC Tournament or the following year, we will know it’s possible to beat them,” said Suess.
For the Seminoles to pull off the big upset, the team will attempt to win the always important doubles point before heading into singles.
“It’s always crucial for us to get that doubles point,” said Suess. “This year we have three very solid doubles teams, so we are confident we can get that point.”
Following the match against Clemson the Seminoles will have quick turnaround as they will host the Georgia State Panthers on Thursday, March 17, at 3 p.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
Fans can follow the match with live stats on http://www.seminoles.com/. Follow the women’s tennis team on Twitter @FSU_WTENNIS and Facebook on the Florida State Women’s Tennis fan page.