TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida State women’s tennis team (1-1) entered the match against Illinois with a thinned roster as the flu bug had struck deep into the team. The Seminoles fought hard after going down early but were not able to make the comeback as they suffered their first setback of the 2018 season in a 4-1 loss to Illinois (1-0).
“It was a tough day today,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “Even though we have been battling the flu up and down the entire roster the last week, I still feel like we had every opportunity to take care of business today with the bodies that we had in the lineup. We had some leads that we let slip and we had a couple of big points and set points that we did not quite execute on. Those few things made a tremendous difference in today’s outcome.”
The Seminoles got off to an early lead in doubles on courts two and three, but could not hold on. Sophomore Andrea Garcia and freshman Lucie Prochazkova got out to an early 2-0 lead before losing the lead 3-5. The Seminole pair fought back to 4-5 before the Fighting Illini got the best of them. Junior Ariana Rahmanparast and sophomore Carla Touly were down 3-1 but fought back to tie it up at 3-3. The duo then tied it up at four, but could not hold on.
“The girls had to adapt to some new doubles pairing due to us being pretty thin and they did well with that,” said Hyde.
In singles, the Noles got in a hole after sophomore Gabby Goldin lost on court six and Julia Mikulski lost on court three. The Noles fought hard and made a comeback that fell short.
Garcia helped the Noles inch closer as she won 7-5, 7-5 on court five.
“Andrea was as poised as always on court five,” said Hyde. “She finds ways to get it done and she did a great job today.”
On courts two and four Touly and Rahmanparast forced third sets after losing the first. While all of this was going on Senior Gabby Castaneda was fighting on court one. After losing the first set she fell behind early and was down 5-3. Castaneda stormed back and tied the match at five, but could not keep it up as she lost the second set 7-5.
“Ari battled so well today against maybe their best player,” said Hyde. “She made good adjustments so did Carla at No. 2.”
“I did see some very high notes today with regard to some of our players demonstrating a very strong will on court,” said Hyde. “Having a strong will is not something you can coach; it is something you either possess or you don’t. I was very pleased with the will demonstrated by a couple of our girls. We are going to use the next couple of the days to get everyone back healthy heading to the ITA Kickoff Weekend next week in Nashville.”
The Noles are back on the court next Friday, January 26th to take on Virginia in the ITA Kickoff weekend at Vanderbilt. The Noles will take on either Vanderbilt or Nebraska on Saturday, January 27th.
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Tennis Match Results
Florida State vs Illinois
Jan 21, 2018 at Urbana, Illinois
(Atkins Tennis Center)
Illinois 4, Florida State 1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (6,3,5,1)