TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Stetson women’s tennis team performed well in its first competition of 2014, splitting a pair of road matches at #24 Florida State and Florida A&M in Tallahassee on Sunday.
The Hatters opened the day taking on the nationally ranked Seminoles and were down just 3-2 before Florida State went on to take it 4-2.
"To play the 24th team in the nation with such poise, confidence and spirit on the road was admirable of our team," Stetson Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said.
"We were just a couple of points away for the deciding match being at #6 where we had won the first set," Pilote said. "I told our team that this was the best performance from top to bottom that I have experienced in my career of coaching the women's tennis program."
Senior Diana Bukajeva defeated Daneika Borthwick 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) at the number one singles position and freshman Isabella Fernandez topped Kerrie Cartwright 2-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8) at number three singles to keep Stetson in a fight with the Seminoles.
"Because of the length of our first match against FSU, the team had to refocus quickly as we barely had an hour between matches," Pilote said.
The Hatters came out ready to go against the Rattlers, winning the first four points to earn a 4-0 victory. Bukajeva and Fernandez won 6-3 at number one doubles, while junior Rachel Luke and sophomore Cari Berry won 6-1 at number three doubles to earn Stetson the first point of the match.
Stetson won the first three singles points to come away with the 4-0 victory. Bukajeva won 6-0, 6-4 at the number one position, sophomore Andrea Crespo won 6-1, 6-3 at number two, and senior MayaBlue Stauffer-MacDowell won 6-3, 6-0 at number three.
Sophomore Eveline Lepinay and Berry were also winning their matchups before they went unfinished.
"I'm very proud of the team today to be able to play two matches at this level of intensity," said Pilote. "Now we will practice diligently and focus our attention towards our next opponent, Georgia Southern."