Tallahassee, Fla. - The 16th-ranked Seminole women's tennis team dropped a closely contested ACC match to 23rd-ranked Clemson Friday at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center. After taking the doubles point, the Seminoles and Tigers were 2-2 with the match in play on the final three courts. Clemson went up 3-2 leaving FSU needing to win the final two matches to get the victory. Frances Segarelli forced her opponent to a third set but Kerrie Cartwright dropped a tie breaker in the second set 8-6 to give the Tigers the win. The victory moved Clemson to 4-4 on the year and 2-0 in the ACC while FSU fell to 8-2 and 1-1 in conference.
"We definitely got behind quickly in a couple of singles matches," said head coach Jennifer Hyde. "It felt like from the very beginning of singles we were scraping just to stay in there. Clemson did a great job today. We knew they were a great team. We knew their ranking didn't represent the type of team they are. They didn't disappoint. They did a great job. They played well today.
"I am frustrated because I didn't think we were prepared today the way we needed to be and I think that falls on me. I am going to make sure that doesn't happen again this semester with this team. We are too good to not have great practices every time we step on court and I think that was part of the result today. I don't feel like we got them ready and I'll take the lumps on that one."
FSU senior Amy Sargeant kept the Seminoles in contention early on with a straight set victory on court four to even the match at 2-2 and take back the momentum Clemson built at the start of singles. After a 6-4 opening set win, the senior from Birmingham, England fell behind Clemson's Romy Koelzer in set two before roaring back and taking the second seat and the match 7-6 (7-2). The win moved Sargeant to 19-3. She is 2-0 in ACC play now and a perfect 7-0 playing on court four.
"Sarge is coming into her own," said Hyde. "She is an absolute warrior out there right now. She is feeling very confident. She is more fit and faster than she's been since she has been in college. She has worked herself to be a lean machine out there. I am so happy for her. She continues to see more and more success."
Mia Vriens, playing on court two where she was 3-1 this season, was in contention to pull off the biggest upset of the day facing Liz Jeukeng who was ranked 89 spots above the sophomore. Vriens got off to a quick start taking the first set 6-4 before dropping the second set 6-1. Vriens pushed the nation's 29th-ranked player but in the end fell 6-3 in the deciding set.
"Mia did a good job out there," said Hyde. "She is playing a girl that is 29th in the country. Her opponent was just a little too good on the day today."
The afternoon started off very well for FSU but set the tone for how closely contested the rest of the day was going to be as the Seminoles won a hard fought doubles point. All three doubles matches went to the wire but in the end it was Daneika Borthwick and Cartwright who were the last pair on the courts and clinched the point with an 8-6 victory moving to 3-2 on the year. Segarelli and Kristina Schleich, who are now 6-2, won their match by the same score as FSU, which trailed 1-0 after the first match, pulled out the final two to secure the point.
"Fran and Kristi moved up to the No. 1 spot today (in doubles) and played like I would expect from two upper classmen," said Hyde. "They did a great job. They played with a ton of energy and it was really good to see them get the doubles there and for us to clinch it too."
The Seminoles return to their home courts March 6 against arch-rival Florida. The match is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start and admission is free to the Scott Speicher Tennis Center.
#23 Clemson 5, #16 Florida State 2
1. #27 Yana Koroleva def. #37 Daneika Borthwick: 6-4, 6-3
2. #29 Liz Jeukeng def. #118 Mia Vriens: 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
3. #44 Beatrice Gumulya def. #72 Francesca Segarelli: 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 6-4
4. Amy Sargeant def. Romy Koelzer: 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Ani Miao def. Kerrie Cartwright def. 6-3, 7-6 (8-6)
6. Tristen Dewar def. Kristina Schleich: 6-1, 6-3
1. Segarelli/Schleich def. Dewar/Gumuyla: 8-6
2. Borthwick/Cartwright def. Koelzer/Koroleva: 8-6
3. Jeukeng/Miao def. Sargeant/Vriens: 8-5
Florida State has not defeated Clemson since 2001.
The Tigers four losses this year have all come versus top 15 teams.
Order of finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2); Singles (6, 1, 4, 2, 5, 3)