Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State’s women’s tennis team had a great home opener at the Seminole Quad Tournament as seniors Katie Rybakova (No. 64 in the country), Federica Suess and sophomore Noemie Scharle (No. 59) went undefeated in their first day of action of singles.
“Today was exciting for the team, coaches and fans,” said associate head coach Oliver Foreman. “It was the first time we had played a competitive match at home since our victory in the NCAA Regional Finals against South Carolina last May, so to be back out on the courts with the same game day attitude and energy just sent chills down my spine.”
Scharle continue her hot start this season with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Georgia Tech’s Elizabeth Vasenina and then defeated the No. 78 ranked player in the country, Mississippi’s Connor Vogel 6-4, 6-1. Rybakova, who has had a slower start to the season, had probably her best day of tennis this fall season as she beat Auburn’s Emily Newton 6-1, 7-5 and then defeated USF’s Janette Bejikova 6-2, 6-0.
“I think everyone needed that,” added Rybakova. “I know personally speaking I needed a couple matches under my belt, but I think it really helps to have our home court advantage and going out for the first time this fall. All summer we haven’t played on these courts and playing matches again feels really good.”
Sophomore Francesca Segarelli played in her first action this fall, fell to the 112th ranked Abby Guthrie of Mississippi 7-5, 6-4, but then battled back to defeat Auburn’s Caroline Thornton 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Suess also showed plenty of fight in her matches as she came back to beat Mississippi’s Laura Van de Stroet 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 and then defeated Georgia Tech’s Lynn Blau 7-5, 6-2.
“To be on our own court, we have been practicing all week on them, feels good and I think all the girls probably felt the same way,” said Rybakova. “Having everyone next to each other is nice. The fall is often times very individual. There is usually a couple girls at one tournament, couple girls at another tournament, but now we are all together and I think creates a spark that is really exciting for all of us to experience. I think that boosts our confidence and boosts our tennis as well.”
Foreman was quite proud of the team’s overall effort and enthusiasm in their first day, “The team went 7-3 in singles today and with the level of competition here with four top 20 teams coming in we did a good job competing and finding ways to get the job done. We still have a long way to go and a lot to learn from today and I expect an even higher level of energy and excitement tomorrow when doubles begins.”
Foreman further added, “To have Federica, Noemie and Katie go undefeated today was fantastic and from their reactions at the end of their matches you could definitely see how much each win meant to them. We preach how important attitude and energy is out here and as coaches we saw some of it, but there is a lot more deep down inside and we need everyone on that same page when game day rolls around. There are no excuses for a lack of that when you train as hard as we have and today we did a good job.”
Tomorrow the team will compete in doubles as Segareli and Suess will take on Auburn’s Jackie Kasler and Paulina Schippers while FSU’s Scharle and Rybakova will team up against Auburn duo Carolina Thornton and Emily Newton. Both matches will be played at 8am.
“I think doubles is going to be fun,” said a cheerful Rybakova. “It will be the first time playing doubles on our own court, at home and I think having a partner on court with you will really help and that fire and being vocal between partners will make for a great day.”