TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No.21-ranked Florida State women’s tennis team fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No.33 Memphis, 4-1.
Due to inclement weather, play was moved indoors to the Roberta Alison Baumgarder Tennis Facility at the University of Alabama.
“That’s a tough way to end the season,” head coach Jennifer Hyde said. “I thought we’d be a little bit better, but credit Memphis. They played like hunters today. That team did a great job up and down the line today.”
The match started off with the doubles point up for grabs as all three matches were evenly paired.
On court three, junior Kristina Schleich and Kerrie Cartwright jumped out to a 3-1 lead over (No.64) Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner before surrendering the next four games. Schleich and Cartwright buckled down and created a rally of their own to take back the lead at 6-5. But, Mikesz and Wegner closed out the match on a streak of their own, taking the match 8-6.
At this point both matches on courts one and two were very tight. Amy Sargeant and Mia Vriens were holding on to a 7-6 lead, while Francesca Segarelli and Daneika Borthwick were down 7-5.
On court one, Segarelli and Borthwick took on Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibbard. After falling behind a break early, Segarelli and Borthwick came back to take the lead 4-3. The pair would hold that break before Memphis went ahead 6-5. The Tigers added another game, just as the match on court three wrapped up.
Segarelli and Borthwick held off one match point and looked to stay alive, however Hibbard and Welcher took the game and the double point with an 8-5 victory.
The match on court two was halted just as Mia Vriens and Amy Sargeant went ahead 8-7 over (No.77) Kelly Gray and Courtney Collins.
“When things got tight in doubles, Memphis stepped up,” Hyde said. “We always talked about playing those tight points big and we didn’t do that today.”
Memphis held the momentum going into singles as the Seminoles won two of the six first sets.
“Losing the doubles point really affected us today,” Hyde said. “It hasn’t been a factor all season but today it hurt us. “
The Tigers went ahead 2-0 after Skylar Kuykendall defeated Vriens on court three, 6-0, 6-1.
Moments later, the Seminoles cut into the Tiger lead after (No.120) Sargeant posted a dominating win on court four against Liza Tymchenko,6-0, 6-1. With that victory, Sargeant became the fifth woman in FSU history to win 30 singles matches in a single season. The Birmingham, England native closed out her senior year with a singles record of 30-5, ranking her fourth in all-time singles wins in a season.
“It was my senior year so I had to go out there and give it my all,” Sargeant said. “It’s been a great season for me and the girls and making the ACC final two out of my four years was a dream come true. Not too many teams can do that. “
The Tigers had a response for Sargeant’s punch as Borthwick (No.62) fell on court one to Collins (No.55) 6-3, 6-2.
Just one court over on two, Segarelli was in a second set 5-1 hole when the Tigers went up 3-1.
After dropping a close 6-4 first set to Welcher, Segarelli could not find her groove as Welcher clinched the match for the Tigers, 6-4, 6-1.
Play was stopped after Memphis won the match. Cartwright outlasted Wegner 7-6 in the first set and was down a break when play was called on court five. Schleich fell in her first set 7-5 before jumping out to a 2-0 lead on court six when play stopped.
The Seminoles finish the season with a 16-10 record and a seventh-consecutive NCAA appearance.
“We fought off adversity all year this season,” Hyde said. “We have no reason to hang our heads. We’ve made the ACC Championship final two out of the last three years and that’s a difficult thing to do. We had some big wins and we’ve made improvements across the board. There are a lot of bright things to look forward to for next season.”
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#33 Memphis 4, #21 Florida State University 1
1. #55 Courtney Collins (MEM) def. #62 Borthwick, Daneika (FSU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Tiffany Welcher (MEM) def. #83 Segarelli, Francesca (FSU) 6-4, 6-1
3. Skylar Kuykendall (MEM) def. Vriens, Mia (FSU) 6-0, 6-1
4. #120 Sargeant, Amy (FSU) def. Liza Tymchenko (MEM) 6-0, 6-1
5. Cartwright, Kerrie (FSU) vs. Caroline Wegner (MEM) 7-6 (7-4), 1-2, unfinished
6. Schleich, Kristina (FSU) vs. Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) 5-7, 2-0, unfinished
1. Tiffany Welcher/Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) def. Borthwick, Daneika/Segarelli, Francesca (FSU) 8-5
2. Vriens, Mia/Sargeant, Amy (FSU) vs. #77 Kelly Gray/Courtney Collins (MEM) 8-7, unfinished
3. #64 Stefanie Mikesz/Caroline Wegner (MEM) def. Cartwright, Kerrie/Schleich, Kristina (FSU) 8-6
Memphis 18-6; National ranking #33
Florida State University 16-10; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (3,4,1,2)
NCAA Championship - First Round