WOMEN’S TENNIS: No. 11 Hurricanes upset by FSU in conference tournament

In last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference women’s tennis championship, the Miami Hurricanes advanced into the final round and lost to top-seeded Georgia Tech.

This year was a different story. After earning the No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the 2008 ACC championship, the No. 11 University of Miami women’s tennis team was eliminated by sixth-seeded archrival Florida State, 4-2. The loss ended the Canes’ seven-game winning streak.

The Hurricanes started the day off on the wrong track. The Canes fell behind early, losing two-of-three doubles matches to lose the doubles point and trail, 1-0. No. 15 Laura Vallverdu and Romy Farah swept their opponents, 8-0, but the other two doubles pairs couldn’t pull out wins.

The Seminoles increased their lead to 2-0, after picking up a win in the number three singles slot. But the Hurricanes responded by taking a win in the number four spot, with Bianca Eichkorn defeating her opponent 6-4, 6-1.

Then, No. 20 Vallverdu dominated Florida State’s Katie Rybakova in the top position, 6-4, 6-4, tying the score at 2-2.

Florida State went a point away from a victory after Hurricane Claudia Wasilewski lost her match at the number six spot, 6-3, 6-4. With just the second and fifth positions remaining, the Hurricanes needed a rally to come back and avoid an upset.

However, the Canes couldn’t earn the two victories. Florida State’s Tapiwa Marobela came from behind to defeat senior Caren Seenauth, 2-6, 6-3,6-3, giving the Seminoles the win.

It marked the second time this season that the Canes have lost to Florida State. The Seminoles defeated the Hurricanes 5-2 in Tallahassee in the regular season ACC opener. This time Florida State ended Miami’s ACC season.

“As a team, we need to become much tougher,” head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said after her team’s loss. “This program was built on toughness, both mentally and physically, and we have been extremely inconsistent in that area.”

The Canes’ next event is the NCAA Championship, which starts May 15 in Tulsa, Okla.

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at l.ledoux@umiami.edu.