Tallahassee, Fla. – Several Florida State women’s tennis players are in action throughout the world this summer, playing in professional tournaments in preparation for the 2016-17 college season beginning in September. In addition to action on the court, a handful of athletes are completing summer school and finishing internships at high end resorts.
Rising sophomore Julia Mikulski, who joined the Seminole squad in January and was a staple in the lineup throughout the spring season, has played a number of tournaments in her native Germany and the Netherlands over the past month.
In June, Mikulski entered the $50K tournament in Essen, Germany, reaching the Round of 16 in doubles play before dropping her first qualifying singles match. Earlier this week, Mikulski reached the final round of qualifying after a 6-3, 6-4 win over Carolin Schmidt at a $10K event in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Incoming freshman Mary Haffey played a pair of events in Tel Aviv, Israel, in May. Both $10K events, Haffey won a pair of qualifying matches to reach the main draw and played into the semifinals in doubles with Eva Raszkiewicz. During week two, Haffey again won two matches in singles qualifying before dropping her main draw opener, and reached the quarterfinals in doubles play. Haffey also competed here at Florida State in June in the US Open qualifier, getting a feel for competing on what will become her home courts this fall. She is set to compete in the upcoming Evansville $10K next week.
Andrea Garcia Fernandez
Another incoming freshman, Andrea Garcia Fernandez, played in Getxo, Spain, in a $10K ITF event. Fernandez reached the second round of qualifying in singles play, and made the quarterfinals of main draw doubles with playing partner Marta Garcia Gausi. She also competed in her final Spanish junior national championships, advancing to the quarterfinals in doubles and losing in singles to the eventual finalist in the championships.
Nandini Das arrived to campus mid-June to attend FSU’s Summer Bridge program, which is a six-week program to integrate incoming student athletes at Florida State. She is currently taking two summer school classes and training every day with her new coaches. She competed in the Florida State ITA Summer Circuit event in June, where she advanced with teammate Gabriella Castaneda to the semifinals of the doubles event. She will be heading home to Mumbai, India, at the beginning of July.
Haffey, Fernandez, and Das are scheduled to join the Seminoles in August.
Rising junior Gabriella Castaneda won the USTA National Clay Court Championship in Fort Lauderdale in May, beating three of the top five seeded players in the draw. In addition to reaching the semifinals in doubles with Das at the ITA Summer Circuit, she has also competed in the US Open qualifier hosted at Florida State, where she had to play incoming freshman Mary Haffey in the second round and advanced to the semifinals. Castaneda will return to Florida State in August as one of the team’s most experienced players, looking to send FSU back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Seminoles lone rising senior, Daniela Schippers is completing her summer internship at the Cullasaja Club in Highlands, N.C., since having significant work experience is a graduation requirement. Schippers is slated to graduate in the spring with her degree in hospitality. She will return to her home in Guatemala at the beginning of August to resume training for the 2016-17 season.
Rising sophomore Ariana Rahmanparast, one of the shining spots for the Seminoles in her freshman season, has completed summer school and is looking to regain the production that saw her clinch the Noles 4-3 win at NC State and produce a defining point against No. 2 Florida.
The unique support system that the Seminoles feel with their fellow teammates on the circuit and back at home has been instrumental in their growing comfort on the pro circuit and through professional opportunities.
For more information on the FSU women’s tennis team, check Seminoles.com for the latest results and scheduling information, or keep up with the team on social media through Twitter (@FSU_WTennis), Facebook (/FSU.WTennis), and Instagram (@FSU_WTennis).