May 5, 2011
By Zach Mendelson, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Subcommittee selected 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships. The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 25-30 at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., following the conclusion of the team championships.
For the third time in her career, senior Katie Rybakova (Coral Springs, Fla.) will compete at the tournament. Sophomore Noemie Scharle (Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg) will be making her second trip. Rybakova is currently ranked No. 31 in the nation, while Scharle is ranked No. 51. For the second time both received at-large selections in singles as the two participated in the 2009 championship singles draw.
“I am really happy, especially because now Katie doesn’t have to go alone,” said Scharle. “We will just have to see how it goes. I was probably one of the last people to be selected so I will likely have to play against the top seeds right away. I believe we both have a good chance there and just really excited to go out there and compete for myself and Florida State.”
All matches will be the best of three sets and regular scoring will take place. In order to have been considered for the esteemed list, a singles’ player must have competed in a minimum of 13 matches and have been ranked in the ITA Top 125. Making the cut this season is especially rewarding to Rybakova who for the first time in her career didn’t qualify last season.
“I didn’t make it last year so it’s really exciting to be able to compete again in my final year,” said Rybakova. “I think this being my last year it’s really an all or nothing mindset for me in this tournament. It will be really great to go out there with Noemie as a pair and compete together. It can be difficult to be traveling with the team and then all of a sudden you are alone so it will be great to have there with me. It’s a great tournament, there will be tremendous competition and I just hope I can do a little bit better than I have in the past. It’s a great opportunity.”
Before Rybakova and Scharle can start taking down competition at the NCAA Individual tournament, they must first compete in with their teammates starting next weekend, May 14-15 in 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 Jaguars at 9:00 a.m. central time. No. 31 Texas A&M Aggies and No. 32 SMU Mustangs will also compete to make it to the second round finals on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“It’s always exciting to compete against top competition like that to see where you are at,” added Scharle. “It’s very beneficial to compete in the NCAA individual championships, but playing for a championship along with our teammates is far more important to Katie and myself.”