The Daily Nole

FSU Women’s Tennis Tops Tulsa, Bound for Elite Eight

Fred Wilson Photography/FSU athletics

For the second straight NCAA Tournament dual, Florida State’s women’s tennis had its backs up against the wall, but won yet another nail-biter. The Seminoles topped Tulsa in the Sweet 16 in North Carolina on Thursday, 4-3.

Florida State’s Gabriella Castaneda evened the dual at 3-3 with a hard-fought, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 victory over Martha Matuola of Tulsa, making Court 5 the decisive match. In that one, FSU’s Ariana Rahmanparast defeated Vera Ploner, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 to clinch the victory for the Seminoles.

After Tulsa took the doubles point, Petra Hule drew Florida State even with a straight set victory over Martina Okalova, 6-3, 6-2. The Seminoles (20-12) took their first lead minutes later as Carla Touly topped Tulsa’s Ksenia Laskutova in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.

The Golden Hurricane (23-6) retook the lead with straight set wins by Tamara Kupkova and Shura Poppe over Florida State’s Nandini Das and Andrea Garcia, respectively. They were unable to win the third set in either of the two remaining matches.

The Seminoles looked dead in the water against rival Florida in the second round, but were able to rally for a thrilling 4-3 victory over the weekend. Wednesday’s contest was originally scheduled for Wake Forest, but weather issues moved the contest to the campus of North Carolina and an indoor facility.

FSU moves on to face No. 1 overall seed Vanderbilt on Saturday in the Elite Eight. It is the first-ever appearance for the Seminoles in the Elite Eight.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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