Raleigh, N.C. – The 13th ranked Florida State women’s tennis team (17-5, 9-2) upset No. 10 NC State (20-4, 10-2) in Raleigh 4-3 on Sunday. Sophomore Emmanuelle Salas proved to be too much for the Wolfpack as she clinched the match in a tiebreaker on court two.
“What an impressive turn around by our group. To lose the doubles point and then jump out to take four first sets at the start of singles,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “We often talk about the importance of having a short memory in tennis, and that mentality was very well executed today. That was a tremendous effort to take four singles matches from a top-10 team. Moving forward, that fact gives us so much more confidence in our singles potential.”
For just the third time this season the Seminoles fell behind 1-0 after losing the doubles point. NC State took courts one and three as junior Carla Touly and senior Ariana Rahmanparast won on court two 6-4.
The Noles jumped out to take four first sets, and that was all that they need to get the job done. Junior Nandini Das dominated all day on her way to a 6-1, 6-1 win on court four to tie the match at one. Fellow junior Andrea Garcia followed it up with a dominating win of her own on court six, 6-3, 6-1.
“For Das to come out of gates so fast like she did to put that first point on the board and even things at 1-1 was critical for our momentum,” said Hyde. “Then just after, Dre followed up with her own big effort and made quick work at court six. Those two were lights out for us today.”
With a 2-1 lead, NC State won two straight with wins on court one and five to take a 3-2 lead. Down, but not out, the Noles went on to win the final two courts. Senior Ana Oparenovic tied the match at three with a three-set win on court three. She took the first set 6-3 before losing the second set in a tiebreaker. Oparenovic dominated the final set jumping out to a 5-0 lead before clinching the match 6-2.
With the match on the line, it all came down to Salas. She took the first set 7-5 before losing the second set in a tiebreaker. The final set went to a tiebreaker as well as Salas came away victorious with a win in the breaker.
“We had some chances in the second sets of both Ana and Manu’s matches to finish the job earlier, but credit to NC State for pushing us to third sets in those spots,” said Hyde. “In the end, we hung around well and gave ourselves the chances we needed to seal it up down the stretch. We expect to be pushed to our limits in this conference, and I’m so pleased with how we responded to that push today.”
“Not to be cliché, but our team demonstrated the complete meaning of perseverance today. That wins big moments, that grows belief, and this team gained so much through their perseverance over the span of this entire weekend. We are improving, we are getting there, and today was another positive step in the direction we want to go. I could not be more proud of this team. They earned every bit of what they got.”
Florida State heads back home for the final weekend of the season as they take on Virginia on Thursday and Louisville on Saturday for Senior Day.
Florida State 4, #10 NC State 3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (4,6,1,5,3,2)