CARY, N.C. – The Florida State women’s tennis team (20-6) battled until the end but fell just short to third-ranked Duke (23-2) 4-3 in the ACC Tournament semifinals.
“I am really proud of the girls today,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “They put up a great fight. Carla really battled and took out one of the top players in the country and Manu did the same getting a great win on her birthday. I am really happy of her. Petra took on a seasoned vet and played a complete match fighting off a 4-2 deficit to clinch that point. I am really proud of her as well. We had some opportunities with second set tiebreakers. We just didn’t get it done but I think we will learn from them and move forward heading into the NCAA Championships.”
For just the sixth time all year, the Seminoles faced a 1-0 deficit after doubles. Duke swept the doubles point with 6-3 wins on all three courts.
The Seminoles battled in singles. They won just two first sets but it was much closer than that. Sophomore Petra Hule tied the match at one with a win on court four. She jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set before Duke’s Kaitlyn McCarthy made a run to bring it to 4-3. Hule took the final two games of the set to win it 6-3. In the second, she went down 5-4 before winning the final three games to take the second set and the match.
Junior Carla Touly then gave the Seminoles their first lead of the match with a huge win on court one over 12th ranked Maria Mateas. Touly jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the first set before taking the set 6-4. She went up 4-2 once again in the second set on her way to taking the set 6-3 and the match to give FSU a 2-1 lead.
Duke tied it up once again with a win on court three. Senior Ana Oparenovic was up against 27th ranked Kelly Chen. She lost the first set 6-3 and battled in the second set before losing 10-8 in a tiebreaker. The Blue Devils then retook the lead with a 6-2, 7-6(4) win on court six over junior Andrea Garcia.
The Garnet and Gold tied the match up again with another top-25 win, this time on court two. Sophomore Emmanuelle Salas defeated 25th ranked Meible Chi in three sets. She lost the first 6-2 but came back to take the final two sets. She took the second set 7-5 and cruised to a 6-2 win in the final set.
With the match on the line, it came down to junior Nandini Das on court five. Das lost the first set 6-3 and was down 2-1 in the second set. She came back to take a 4-3 lead but Duke’s Ellyse Hamlin took the next two games and a 5-4 lead. Das tied it back up to force a tiebreaker in the second set but fell just short losing it 7-4.
“We needed to get through those tiebreakers but we just did not have enough time,” said Hyde. “Looking ahead to NCAAs is very exciting because we are playing better tennis and they are fighting so hard on court for each other. This one stings but we just went toe to toe with one of the best teams in the country and the separation was points.”
Florida State will now wait until Monday, April 29th to see who they will be playing in the ACC tournament.
Duke 4, Florida State 3
Order of finish: Singles – 4,1,3,6,2,5 ; Doubles – 1,2,3
Start Time: 2:04 p.m