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WACO, Texas. – After dropping a tough 4-1 loss on Saturday, the No. 36 Florida State women's tennis team rallied to win four singles matches in order to defeat 29th ranked Rice 4-2 on Sunday in the consolation of the ITA-Kick-off Weekend. With their first win over a ranked opponent, the Seminoles move to 3-1 on the year.
"I'm so proud of our team and their efforts today," head coach Jennifer Hyde said. "The conditions today were not great, and we did a great job of using them to our benefit. We fought hard across the board and I'm glad to see us get a good win under our belt."
With the score 3-2 and two matches still in play, No. 73 Francesca Segarelli was behind the fourth and clinching point for the Seminoles as she wore down her opponent Katie Gater on court three in the third set (5-7, 7-6 (5), (6-1).
"I just stepped up," Segarelli said. "I know what it feels like to lose a set 7-6 and it's tough to get back and I took advantage of that. I saw that Kerrie (Cartwright) was in a battle too, and I knew I needed to put the team on my back. Knowing that Kerrie was there was my motivation and I knew I couldn't put all of the pressure on her. I knew there weren't any excuses, and this match was mine."
Segarelli dropped her first set 7-5, before fighting off elimination in the second with Gater in front 6-5. Segarelli went back on serve to tie the set at 6.
"I was really confident in my serve," Segarelli said. "It was a very straight forward game and I closed it out easy. The tie break was intense. We were tied at five and then I double-faulted, but then she double-faulted. After that I looked at Oliver (Foreman) and I thought 'I got this' and that's how the momentum changed."
After storming back to take the second set 7-6 (7-5) she put her foot on the gas and dominated the third 6-1.
"Franny had a battle in her match." Hyde said. "I'm so proud to see a senior rise up on that occasion and clinch for us. She dropped a tight first set and then went punch -for -punch in the second, winning it in a tie breaker. In her third set, she just stepped up and sealed the win by taking it 6-1. It's what you expect out of your leader."
Starting off the day, the Seminoles dropped the doubles point, falling behind 1-0.
On court one, sophomores Daneika Borthwick and Mia Vriens fell to the 56th ranked pair of Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath 8-4, giving Rice the slight edge in the doubles decision.
Florida State would even the score with a victory on court three behind the racquets of Seagrelli and junior Kristina Schleich as they beat Solomiya Zinko and Kimberly Anciete, 8-3.
But the Owls closed out a tight race on court two as Stephanie Nguyen and Gater defeated senior Amy Sargeant and sophomore Kerrie Cartwright 8-6.
Moving on to singles, the Seminoles wouldn't be in the hole for long as No. 100 Sargeant dominated on court four, defeating Anciete 6-0, 6-1, evening the match 1-1.
"After dropping three first sets in singles, Sargie absolutely dominated in her match," Hyde said. "That point was huge as it quickly tied the score and gave us momentum."
Sargeant was the lone Seminole to contribute a pair of singles wins this weekend.
On court six, Schleich put the Garnet and Gold up 2-1 with a convincing win over Daniela Triago, 6-4, 6-1 with four tight matches still in play.
No. 37 Borthwick defeated her sixth ranked opponent on the year in No. 50 Beazant 6-4, 6-3 on court one just before No. 48 Vriens fell on court two to Harmath, 6-4, 6-4.
"Daneika played another solid match today," Hyde said. "It was a convincing straight- set win against a player who finished last season ranked 15th in the nation."
At this point in the match, both Segarelli and Cartwright were the only two matches still in action as both players came back to force third sets, with the Seminoles in front 3-2.
In her Seminole debut on court five, Cartwright fell 6-3 in the first set before owning the second set 6-2 against Zinko. Cartwright's third set was played in dramatic fashion as it saw five ties and four lead changes before it was stopped at 5-5 due to Segarelli capping the match at four.
"Kerrie did a great job after losing her first set to take a quick second in order to force a third set," Hyde said. "She didn't get a chance to finish her match, but it made a huge difference in the outcome just by her playing a third set. It was a good first match for her and I can't wait to see what she has this season."
The Seminoles will continue on the road on Feb. 3 against USF in Tampa, Fla. Check back to Seminoles.com, Twitter (FSU_Wtennis) and Facebook for more information.
No.36 FSU 4, No. 29 Rice 2
No. 56 Natalie Beazant/Dominique Harmath def. Mia Vriens/Daneika Borthwick: 8-4
Stephanie Nguyen/Katie Gater def. Amy Sargeant/Kerrie Cartwright: 8-6
Francesca Segarelli/Kristina Schleich def. Solomiya Zinko/Kimberly Anciete: 8-3
No. 37 Daneika Borthwick def. No. 50 Natalie Beazant: 6-4, 6-3
Dominique Harmath def. No. 48 Mia Vriens: 6-4, 6-4
No.73 Francesca Segarelli def. Katie Gater 5-7, 7-6, 6-1
No.100 Amy Sargeant def. Kimberly Anciete: 6-0, 6-1
Kerrie Cartwright vs. Solomiya Zinko: 3-6, 6-2, 5-5 DNF
Kristina Schleich def. Daniela Triago: 6-4, 6-1
No. 15 Baylor 4, No. 36 FSU 1
Ema Burgic/Victoria Kisaleva def. Daneika Borthwick/Mia Vriens: 8-4
Francesca Segarelli/Kristina Schleich vs. Alex Leatu/Megan Horter: 7-5 DNF
Baylor wins by default
No. 16 Ema Burgic def. No. 37 Daneika Borthwick : 6-3, 6-2
No. 48 Mia Vriens vs. Megan Horter: 6-3, 5-4 DNF
Jordaan Stanford vs. No. 73 Francesca Segarelli: 6-4, 4-3 DNF
No. 100 Amy Sargeant def. Kiah Generette : 6-2, 6-4
Alex Leatu def. Kristina Schleich: 6-2, 6-4
Baylor wins by default