College Park, MD - The No. 31 Florida State women's tennis team (9-7, 4-4) battled hard from start to finish to earn a second straight ACC victory, defeating the No. 26 Maryland Terrapins (12-6, 2-5) in a close 4-3 victory on Friday afternoon at the indoor Maryland Tennis Center.
“The girls did a fantastic job today,” said head coach Jennifer Hyde. “The level of tennis was as high today as it’s been this season. The girls are starting to step up their level of play with each day of competition we have. They really did a fine job today against a very good Maryland team."
After falling in the top doubles match against Maryland’s No. 39 tandem of Christina Sanchez-Quintanar and Jordaan Sanford by an 8-5 score, the Seminoles bounced back by winning the next two matches on courts two and three. Sophomore Francesca Segarelli and freshman Ruth Seaborne defeated Maryland’s Welma Luus and Ana Belzunce 8-5. Senior Katie Rybakova and sophomore Amy Sargeant then sealed the doubles point with an 8-3 victory over the Terrapins Julia Huschke and Jordan Hansbrough on court three.
“The difference maker in today’s match was definitely doubles,” said Hyde. “Getting that doubles point early was crucial for us and it ended up being the deciding factor in the match."
After winning the doubles portion of the match, the Seminoles struggled early in singles, losing the first set on four of the six courts. Rybakova, ranked No. 42 in the country, had her winning streak of five matches snapped by Maryland’s top player, No. 32 Sanchez-Quintanar 6-2, 6-1 on court one.
The Seminoles quickly regained momentum as Sargeant defeated Huschke 6-1, 6-2 for her third consecutive victory on court six. However, it was short lived as Suess fell to Maryland’s Christina Stancu 6-1, 6-2 to tie the match at two points each.
After falling in her first set, Seaborne battled back in the second and third sets to defeat Luus 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 on court four. Segarelli then fought back in another three-set battle against Belzunce to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on court two. In the day’s final match, No. 62 Scharle, couldn’t quite complete the comeback after battling back in the second set, falling against Sanford 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-3 on court three.
"Fran and Noemie were playing side by side today, and at one point in the match I started to smile because they both were playing as good as I've seen them play in weeks," Hyde said. "At the same time, Amy was also playing confidently and was completely dominant on her court. Ruthie was in a nail biter on the backside and pulled out a 7-5 third set win to put us at three points. Fran played so well to clinch the match and she completely wore her opponent down. It was a battle all around, and it feels very good to be on the winning side of that."
With the victory Florida State extends its lead in the all-time series to a strong 17-2 record over Maryland. Florida State has not lost to Maryland since Hyde's second year with the program in 2006 which they lost in a 4-3 nail biter in College Park.
“It was a really good day for our team, and the girls needed another win like this for their confidence," said Hyde. "The confidence is growing, you can see it growing and they can feel it growing within themselves. We are very much on the right track and will enjoy this win for the night."
The Seminoles will now head to Chestnut Hill, MA to play the No. 46 Boston College Eagles (7-10, 2-4) on Sunday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. Following this weekend’s road trip, the team will come home to play their final two matches at home against the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday, April 15 in the annual "Paint It Pink" match at 4:00 p.m. and then wrap up the regular season with senior day against the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils on April 17th at 12 p.m. at the Scott Speicher Tennis Courts.
1. #32 Christina Sanchez-Quintanar (MD) def. #42 Katie Rybakova (FSU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Francesca Segarelli (FSU) def. Ana Belzunce (MD) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
3. Jordaan Sanford (MD) def. #62 Noemie Scharle (FSU) 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-3
4. Ruth Seaborne (FSU) def. Welma Luus (MD) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
5. Christina Stancu (MD) def. Federica Suess (FSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Amy Sargeant (FSU) def. Julia Huschke (MD) 6-1, 6-2
Order to finish: 1, 6, 5, 4, 2*, 3
1. #39 Sanchez/Sanford (MD) def. Scharle/Suess (FSU) 8-5
2. Segarelli/Seaborne (FSU) def. Luus/Belzunce (MD) 8-5
3. Sargeant/Rybakova (FSU) def. Huschke/Hansbrough (MD) 8-3
Order to finish: 1, 2, 3*