Jan. 30, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Rain may have washed away Auburn's originally scheduled match with No. 50 Florida State on Sunday, but it didn't dampen the energy or effort of the Tigers come Monday. After spending an extra night in Tallahassee, Fla., the Auburn women's tennis team put forth a gutsy effort against the Seminoles at the Scott Speicher Tennis Center, as the Tigers dropped a 4-3 decision to the Seminoles for their first loss of the year.
"The girls fought hard and really competed today," head coach Tim Gray said. "We couldn't have asked for a better effort today and we were close to pulling off what would have been a pretty big upset. The girls were warriors today and I couldn't have asked for more. This match was a character builder for us."
Due to inclement weather in the area, both coaches agreed to play the singles matches before doubles in case of a rainout. Both Auburn (3-1) and Florida State (1-0) split its singles matches, leaving the fate of the match in the hands of the three doubles matches.
In singles, the Tigers picked up wins in the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 positions, with two of the wins taking three sets. Playing at No. 2, Whitney Chappell moved her record this spring to 4-0 with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over Ania Rynarzewska. At No. 3, Alex Haney dropped the opening set 7-6 (4) to Tapiwa Marobela, before taking the final two sets for a 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4 loss. The Tigers other win came in the No. 4 position with Dzeljan Memisi taking a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 decision over Nicola Slater.
No. 18 Carolin Walter of Florida State defeated Ashley Cowart, 6-1, 6-0, in the No. 1 spot. At No. 5, Florida State's Suzann Mansour defeated the Tigers' Tori Almagno, 6-1, 6-0. At No.6, Auburn's Erin Gray lost to Alina Milhailescu, 7-6, 6-3.
With the match knotted at 3-3 after singles play, the attention was shifted to doubles play, where the Tigers hadn't lost a point all season. In the No. 1 doubles match, Haney teamed with Leigh Tippins. The duo lost a back-and-forth battle, 9-7, to Florida State's team of Walter and Slater.
Needing a victory to keep their hopes alive, the Tigers got just that from the No. 2 position with an 8-4 win by Almagno and Chappell over the Seminoles' team of Marobela and Mihailescu.
The match came down to the No. 3 spot doubles match between the Tigers' duo of Cowart and Gray and the Seminoles' team of Mansour and Rynarzewska. The match went down to the wire, but Cowart and Gray did not have enough left in the tank, as they fell 9-8 (5).
The Tigers' next meet will be their home opener on Feb. 11 with Samford at 3 p.m.
Auburn 4 Florida State 3
1. No. 18 Carolin Walter, FSU def. Ashley Cowart, AU, 6-1, 6-0.
2. Whitney Chappell, AU def. Ania Rynarzewska, FSU, 6-3, 6-3.
3. Alex Haney, AU, def. Tapiwa Marobela, FSU 6-7 (10-4), 7-5, 6-4.
4. Dzeljan Memisi, AU def. Nicola Slater, FSU, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
5. Suzanna Mansour, FSU def. Tori Almagno, AU, 6-1, 6-0.
6. Alina Mihailescu, FSU def. Erin Gray, AU, 7-6, 6-3
1. Walter/Slater, FSU def. Alex Haney/Leigh Tippins, AU, 9-7.
2. Tori Almagno/Whitney Chappell, AU def. Marobela/Milhailescu, FSU, 8-4.
3. Mansour/Rynarzewska, FSU def. Ashley Cowart/Erin Gray, AU 9-8 (5).