GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Florida State women’s tennis team began their fall season on Friday at the Furman Fall Classic in Greenville, S.C. On the first day of competition, the Seminoles showed success could still be had without players with much experience at the collegiate level. With strong mental performances and the ability to complete matches without allowing matches to go three sets, Florida State advanced a doubles pair to the flight one championship and three of its four singles players were victorious.
“I was very happy with the way we started out our first competition of the fall today at the Furman Fall Classic,” Head Coach Jennifer Hyde said. “There were a lot of very positive things to take away from today.”
The most impressive result from Friday’s action was the emergence of true freshman Gabby Castaneda. In her first ever collegiate competition, she partnered up with teammate redshirt freshman Emily Fanning. The freshmen duo defeated Furman’s Ansley Speaks and Alex Moreno, 8-4. Following that match Castaneda and Fanning had to face the No. 17 ranked doubles pair in the nation, Courtney Colton and Sydney Campbell of Vanderbilt. Inexperience did not hold Castaneda and Fanning back as the young Seminole pair made quick work upsetting Colton and Campbell, 8-2.
“Our freshman team of Emily Fanning and Gabby Castaneda advancing to the finals of the No. 1 flight draw in doubles and along the way defeating the No. 17 ranked doubles team in the nation from Vanderbilt was very impressive ,” Hyde said. “They completely dominated two very experience college players today and did a great job to work their way into the finals tomorrow.”
Castaneda and Fanning will play for the flight one championship Saturday at 9 a.m. against No. 8 ranked Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies of Clemson.
Castaneda was not done there. Later that afternoon in her only singles match of the day, she rolled to victory over No. 39 ranked Frances Altick of Vanderbilt in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
“Gabby was able to win her singles match against Frances Altick from Vanderbilt in a very convincing 6-3, 6-3 win,” Hyde said. “Altick sits right now ranked No. 39 in the nation. It was a banner day for Gabby.”
The most experienced Seminole at the Furman Fall Classic is sophomore Daniela Schippers. In her singles match against Tennessee’s Joanna Henderson, Schippers struggled early. Down 0-3 in the first set, she rallied back to win six of the next seven games. Schippers trailed in the second set 5-6 before forcing the tiebreaker and winning the match 6-4, 7-6(4).
“Daniela [Schippers] had a really good match against Joanna Henderson from Tennessee,” Hyde said. “She had a convincing first set win. Things got tight in the second [set] and she was able to take care of it in two sets, and finish the match in a tiebreaker in the second set. In this time of year when we are playing so many matches it is good to be able to put your foot to people’s throats and not let them into the match, and give them hope. I was really happy with the way she closed out her singles match today.”
Freshman Lana Rush won her singles match as well, defeating Karlee Bryde of Furman in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.
“I was very proud across the board today,” Hyde said. “This was a good day for us. I think it is definitely a sign for things to come as we look ahead to the rest of the season and obviously to the rest of the weekend as well.
Castaneda, Schippers and Rush advanced to the semifinals of their respective flights and will all be in action on Saturday.
Doubles Round One:
F1 Castaneda/Fanning (FSU) def. Speaks/Moreno-Kaste (FU), 8-4
F2 Casares/Altick (VU) def. Schippers/Rush (FSU), 8-6
Doubles Round Two:
F1 Castaneda/Fanning (FSU) def. Colton/Campbell (VU), 8-2
F2 Schippers/Rush (FSU) def. Martin/van Lochem (FU), 8-3
Singles Round One:
F1 Gabriela Castaneda (FSU) def. Frances Altick (VU), 6-3, 6-3
F2 Brigit Folland (USC) def. Emily Fanning (FSU), 6-3, 6-2
F3 Daniela Schippers (FSU) def. Joanna Henderson (UT), 6-4, 7-6(4)
F4 Lana Rush (FSU) def. Karlee Bryde (FU), 6-1, 6-4