No. 2 FSU women’s tennis hosts No. 1 UNC on Friday

The No. 2 ranked Florida State women’s tennis team (10-1, 1-0) is back home this weekend to host No. 1 North Carolina (12-0, 0-0) on Friday at noon and Stetson (4-3, 0-0) at 5 p.m. at the Scott Speicher Memorial Tennis Center.

Florida State trails the all-time series with the top-ranked Tar Heels 18-34. North Carolina has seven ranked singles players and three ranked doubles pairs.

Florida State is coming into this weekend’s match-ups with five top-20 victories in their first 11 matches. The Florida State women’s tennis team is No. 2 in the latest Oracle/ITA rankings, which is the highest ranking in program history. The Noles have one singles player in the rankings, senior Nandini Das at No. 83.

Carolina’s top three are all ranked in the top 10 with Cameron Morra leading the way at No. 4 followed by No. 5 Alexa Graham and No. 6 Sara Daavettila. UNC’s other ranked singles players come in at No. 39 with Alle Sanford, Makenna Jones at No. 43, No. 81 Kacie Harvey and Elizabeth Scotty at No. 111.

The doubles lineup for North Carolina also features three ranked duos. Leading the way at No. 4 is UNC’s pairing of Sara Daavettile and Alexa Graham. The top-ranked singles player Cameron Morra teams up with Makenna Jones to form the No. 5 doubles pair. Coming in at No. 19 are Makenna Jones and Alle Sanford to round out the rankings for the Tar Heels.

In doubles, FSU has three ranked pairs with junior Emmanuelle Salas and freshman Victoria Allen checking in at No. 21. Junior Petra Hule also teams up with Allen to form the No. 30 ranked doubles pair. Rounding out the rankings for the Seminoles is the senior duo of Das and Andrea Garcia at No. 58.

FSU opened ACC conference play on Monday on the road against rival Miami in an in-state showdown.  They earned a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes.

Divers reach podium at ACCs

The Florida State divers secured their spots in FSU history on Thursday night at the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships after bringing home two golds and a silver medal at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Seniors Molly Carlson and Ayla Bonniwell closed out their springboard careers with a storybook ending, finishing with gold and silver in the women’s 3-meter final. Junior Joshua Davidson brought home Florida State’s first diving win in a decade by taking gold on 1-meter with a total of 382.95.

“It was a pretty darn good day for the Noles today I got to say,” FSU head diving coach John Proctor said. “It’s tough to win a prelim and come back and repeat that performance in the final. It’s probably harder to do it 1-2. Josh, Molly and Ayla were absolutely brilliant today.”

Carlson and Bonniwell etched their names in the FSU record books as the eighth one-two diving finish at ACCs and first since 2004 when the Noles swept both springboards.  This was the second appearance on the ACC podium in their careers together, having won gold (Bonniwell) and bronze (Carlson) on 1-meter as freshmen in 2017.

“I couldn’t be happier for Ayla,” Proctor added. “What a way to for her to finish her ACC career. I am super proud of all of them.”

After securing silver on 1-meter last night, Carlson came out on fire and qualified first with a total of 337.95 and Bonniwell followed with a total 337.05, 22.95 points ahead of the third place qualifier.

In finals, the duo established themselves in the top two spots after the third round, with Bonniwell leading (170.65) Carlson (158.70).  Bonniwell slipped to third in the fourth round and Carlson took over the lead after scoring 63.00 points on her back 2 ½ tuck and increased her lead in the final three rounds to take the second ACC gold of her career with a total of 340.00.

“Coming in first and second with my best friend representing the best team has to be the ideal way to end our senior year,” Carlson said. “We would like to thank the entire Seminole family for all of the love and support!”

Bonniwell moved right back into silver medal position after receiving marks of 6.5-7.0 on her reverse 1 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twist in the fifth round. Her final dive – a back 1 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists tallied 50.40, giving her the silver just ahead of Virginia’s Sydney Dusel (319.25) with a total of 321.05.

“We’ve been a family since the start,” Bonniwell said. “We win together, we lose together and today, we won!”

Beach volleyball opens with home tournament

The second-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team is set to open their season at home this weekend as they welcome ULM, Houston Baptist, No. 9 Stetson, No. 16 TCU, No. 7 Cal Poly, No. 13 South Carolina and Tampa to Tallahassee. The three days of matches are all a part of the Seminole Beach Bash presented by Celebrity cruises (February 21-23).

Florida State enters the opening weekend, a combined 43-0 against the seven teams they will face. Florida State is 22-3 all-time on opening weekend and 42-2 all-time at home.

Florida State will play in the lone match on Friday at 4 p.m. against ULM. The two programs have met four times, resulting in three 5-0 FSU wins and a 4-1 Florida State victory back in 2015. The two programs have not met since 2016.

The Noles kick of the second day of action at 8 am against Houston Baptist. Florida State is a perfect 3-0 against the Huskies with their last meeting resulting in a 5-0 FSU win in 2018. The Garnet and Gold get their first test against a top-10 opponent later that day when they take on No. 9 Stetson at 11:45 am. Florida State is 13-0 all-time against the Hatters. The two teams met in Tallahassee last year ending in a 4-1 FSU win. Florida State caps off day two of the competition against No. 16 TCU at 4:45 pm. TCU is coached by former FSU assistant coach Hector Gutierrez. FSU is 7-0 against the Horned Frogs with two wins against them a season ago.

FSU begins day three of the Seminole Beach Bash at 10:30 am against No. 7 Cal Poly. The two schools have met just three times but saw each other twice a season ago. The Seminoles got the best of the Mustangs in Tallahassee 4-1 and once again took it to Cal Poly in Gulf Shores, Ala. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, winning 3-0. Florida State then caps off the tournament with matches against No. 13 South Carolina (3:30 pm) and Tampa (4:45 pm). FSU is 13-0 against the Gamecocks and 1-0 against the Spartans.

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