The Daily Nole

Seminole Saturday Summary: FSU Women’s Tennis Achieves Highest Ranking Ever, Noles Picked to Win ACC Softball Crown

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After a pair of wins over top-20 teams in its first four matches, Florida State women’s tennis achieved its highest ranking ever.

The Seminoles concluded ITA Kick-Off weekend with a 4-0 victory over No. 18 Texas A&M on Sunday. Three days later, FSU had ascended from No. 14 to No. 9 in the ITA rankings.

As a top-10 team in Lake Nona on Friday, the Seminoles collected a 4-3 victory over No. 15 UCF. The Knights defeated FSU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. FSU is 5-0 on the season and will next face Air Force on Feb. 15 at home.

Florida State was projected to win a seventh straight ACC softball title. (Perrone Ford/FSU athletics)

Despite not having the top seed in the ACC Tournament last season, Florida State softball has won six straight conference crowns. The Seminoles were picked to do so again earlier this week.

FSU received 10 of 13 first-place votes from the conference’s coaches. Virginia Tech, last season’s regular season champion, received two first-place votes and was picked second. Notre Dame received one first-place vote while being picked third.

The Seminoles also had more players picked to the preseason All-ACC team than any other program with five. Infielder Sydney Sherrill, catcher Anna Shelnutt, outfielder Dani Morgan and utility player Elizabeth Mason all made the list after each hit at least 10 home runs last season. Also earning the honor was pitcher and Tennessee transfer Caylan Arnold.

The Seminoles will open the season on Friday in the JoAnne Graf Classic against North Carolina. FSU finished 55-10 last season before being ousted by Oklahoma State in the Tallahassee Super Regional.


Recognitions: None
Weekly Commitments: Corey Wren, 3-star ATH (No. 451 overall)*; Robert Scott, 3-star T (No. 509 overall)*; Darion Williamson, 3-star ATH (No. 830 overall); Markeston Douglas, 3-star DE (Unranked)*
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 20 nationally, fourth in ACC (23 total commitments)*

Men’s Basketball

Record: 18-3 (8-2 ACC)
Ranking: No. 5 AP Poll; No. 6 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (1-1), lost at Virginia, 61-56; defeated Virginia Tech, 74-63
Upcoming: vs. North Carolina (Monday); vs. Miami (Saturday)
Recognitions: None
Weekly Commitments: None
2020 Recruiting Class Ranking: No. 25 nationally, sixth in ACC (3 total commitments)*
Big Picture: Florida State had its 10-game winning streak snapped against Virginia, but bounced back to collect a nice road win at Virginia Tech. The Seminoles currently sit in second place in the ACC.

Weekly Review

(5) FSU 56, Virginia 61
Tuesday, Jan. 28

Kihei Clark’s layup with a minute to play gave Virginia a 57-56 lead and put the Cavaliers ahead for good. They closed the game on an 8-0 run to snap Florida State’s 10-game winning streak and even the season series. The Seminoles led by eight twice, but shot just 39 percent for the game and was outrebounded, 36-23. Virginia forward Mamade Diakite led all scorers with 19 points to go with nine rebounds. Devin Vassell paced the Seminoles with 17 points. Clark and Braxton Key finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.

(5) FSU 74, Virginia Tech 63
Saturday, Feb. 1

Florida State used an early 9-0 run to take an 11-4 lead and from there, the contest was never closer than four. The Seminoles led by as many as 16 in the second half en route to a fourth ACC road victory. FSU shot 49 percent from the field and held Virginia Tech to 7-for-30 from deep. Devin Vassell was 8-for-10 from the field and a perfect 7 of 7 from distance to finish with a game-high 27 points for FSU. RaiQuan Gray, Anthony Polite, Trent Forrest and Patrick Williams all finished with seven points for the Seminoles. Tyrece Radford paced Virginia Tech with 18 points.

Women’s Basketball

Record: 18-4 (7-4 ACC)
Ranking: No. 14 AP Poll; No. 14 USA Today Coaches Poll
Past Week: (2-1), defeated Miami, 79-61; fell to Boston College, 65-56; defeated Pittsburgh, 66-41
Upcoming: at Louisville (Thursday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State had a bad loss on Thursday, but finished the week 2-1. The Seminoles will have their toughest challenge of the season as they travel to face Louisville.

Weekly Review

Miami 61, (14) FSU 79
Sunday, Jan. 26

Florida State closed the first half on an 18-4 run and never looked back as it completed the season sweep of Miami. FSU shot 53 percent in the win and held a 39-27 advantage on the glass. Miami’s Kelsey Marshall led all scorers with 21 points in the loss. Nicki Ekhomu led the Seminoles with 19 points while forward Kiah Gillespie added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nausia Woolfolk chipped in with 15 points in the victory. Mykea Gray and Brianna Jackson each scored 12 points for the Hurricanes in the loss.

Boston College 65, (14) FSU 56
Thursday, Jan. 30

Florida State was held to under 38 percent shooting, 4-for-20 from deep and shot just five free throws on Thursday night in an upset loss at home to Boston College. The Seminoles never led after the midway point of the first quarter, but got as close as four in the final quarter. Boston College’s Emma Guy shot 10-for-16 from the field and led all scorers with 21 points. Nicki Ekhomu paced FSU with 19 points. Kiah Gillespie added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Seminoles. Taylor Soule finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles.

(14) FSU 66, Pittsburgh 41
Sunday, Feb. 1

After a sluggish first half that saw the score tied at 20, Florida State outscored Pittsburgh 46-21 in the second half. The Seminoles shot just 37 percent for the game, but held the Panthers to under 25 percent and held an 11-rebound advantage. Nicki Ekhomu led FSU with 25 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Sammie Puisis added 12 points in the win. Kiah Gillespie finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Seminoles. Dayshanette Harris led Pittsburgh with 17 points.

Men’s Tennis

Record: 6-2
Ranking: No. 21 ITA
Past Week: (0-2), lost at Texas, 4-0; lost to Florida, 4-1
Upcoming: at Auburn (Friday)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: After starting 6-0, FSU has lost consecutive matches to the top two ranked teams in the country.

Weekly Review

(21) FSU 0, (1) Texas 4
Sunday, Jan. 26 (ITA Kick-Off Weekend)

Defending national champion Texas wasted no time putting away Florida State in the final match of ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Austin. After winning the doubles point, Siem Woldeab, Eliot Spizzirr and Chih Chi Huang all collected straight-set wins for the Longhorns. The duals did not finish, but Rana Roop Bhullar and Alex Knaff did take their first sets for FSU.

(21) FSU 1, (2) Florida 4
Saturday, Feb. 1 (Lake Nona)

Florida State was competitive, but lost a lot of close duals to rival Florida. Andy Andrade clinched the match for Florida with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sebastian Arcila. Duarte Vale and Johannes Ingildsen each won in straight sets for the Gators. The only dual win for FSU came from Loris Pourroy, who defeated Josh Goodger, 6-3, 7-6.

Women’s Tennis

Record: 5-0
Ranking: No. 9 ITA
Past Week: (3-0), defeated Texas A&M, 4-0; defeated UCF, 4-3
Upcoming: ITA Indoor National Championships
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: FSU achieved its highest ranking ever and may be moving up after two wins over ranked teams in one week.

Weekly Review

(18) Texas A&M 0, (14) FSU 4
Sunday, Jan. 26 (ITA Kick-Off Weekend)

In its second top-20 showdown in three matches, Florida State had no trouble with Texas A&M to conclude ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Petra Hule clinched the match for the Seminoles with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 win over Texas A&M’s Jayci Goldsmith. Emmanuelle Salas won in straight sets for FSU while Sasha Hill dominated the final two sets in a 2-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over Dorthea Faa-Hviding.

(9) FSU 4, (15) UCF 3
Friday, Jan. 31 (Lake Nona)

The doubles point turned out to be the difference as Florida State edged UCF in its closest match of the season. Both sets went to tiebreaker, but Sasha Hill clinched the match for the Seminoles with a 7-6, 7-6 win over UCF’s Nadja Bay Christians. Nandini Das and Victoria Allen also collected straight-set wins for FSU. The lone dual to go three sets came on Court 1 as UCF’s Evgeniya Levashova edged FSU’s Emmanuelle Salas, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Track and Field

Ranking: Men No. 1 USTFCCCA; Women No. 12 USTFCCCA
Past Week: FSU participated in the Texas Tech Invitational and University of Indiana Relays
Upcoming: David Hemery Valentine Invitational (Feb. 14-15); Tiger Paw Invitational (Feb. 14-15)
Recognitions: Trey Cunningham (ACC Track Performer of the Week); Caleb Parker (ACC Field Performer of the Week)
Big Picture: FSU’s top-ranked men’s team gathered a pair of victories in Lubbock. Kasey Knevelbaard had a strong showing at the Indiana Relays.

Weekly Review

Texas Tech Invitational
Friday, Jan. 31 to Saturday, Feb. 1

The highlight of Friday night for Florida State was the men’s 60-meter hurdles as the Seminoles took the top four spots. Trey Cunningham won the event, followed by teammates Caleb Parker, Braxton Canady and Tyricke Highman. In the men’s long jump on Saturday, FSU’s Isaac Grimes and Fabian Edoki finished first and second. The best finish for the FSU women in Lubbock came from Ka’Tia Seymour, who finished third in the 200 meters.

University of Indiana Relays
Friday, Jan. 31 to Saturday, Feb. 1

Florida State wasn’t all that well represented in Bloomington, but did make some noise. Kasey Knevelbaard finished in third place in the men’s 1-mile run. In the men’s 3,000 meters, Jacob Holmes and Silas Griffith finished 16th and 18th, respectively.

Swimming and Diving

Ranking: Men No. 15 CSCAA; Women No. 25 CSCAA
Past Week: Idle
Upcoming: Auburn Invite (Friday through Feb. 9)
Recognitions: None
Big Picture: Florida State had this week off and will now prepare for its final event before the ACC Championships.


Record: 0-0
Ranking: No. 10 NFCA Coaches Poll
Upcoming: vs. North Carolina (Friday, JoAnne Graf Classic); vs. Alabama (Friday, JoAnne Graf Classic); Detroit Mercy (Saturday, JoAnne Graf Classic); Alabama (Saturday, JoAnne Graf Classic)
Recognitions: Sydney Sherrill, IF (Preseason All-ACC); Dani Morgan, OF (Preseason All-ACC), Caylan Arnold, P (Preseason All-ACC); Anna Shelnutt, C (Preseason All-ACC); Elizabeth Mason, UT (Preseason All-ACC)
Big Picture: Florida State was picked to win the ACC for a seventh year in a row. The Seminoles will play five games in three days next week, including two match-ups with No. 1 Alabama.

Other News

FSU cross country led all ACC schools with 12 All-ACC Academic selections.

FSU football tackle Ryan Roberts was named an All-ACC Academic selection.

FSU beach volleyball junior Alaina Chacon was named a preseason All-American by

FSU’s swimming and diving teams were named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America team.

FSU volleyball’s Taryn Knuth was named ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Emma Clothier, Madison Sullivan and Taylor Roberts were all named to the All-ACC Academic team.

FSU soccer’s Malia Berkely, Gabby Carle, Kristina Lynch, Jenna Nighswonger and Heather Payne were all named to the All-ACC Academic team.

FSU baseball pitcher C.J. Van Eyk was named a second-team preseason All-American by Baseball America.

Eight FSU cross country athletes were recognized as All-Academics by USTFCCCA.

*247Sports Composite rankings

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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