It was in 2018 that the Florida State’s women’s tennis team made the Elite 8.
Three years later, the Seminoles are back, looking to make that level of success the baseline.
The Seminoles had a fantastic season, earning the highest ACC Tournament title in school history before falling short — a birth-by-fire that’s been chalked up as a learning lesson by both coaches and athletes.
“I think losing in the first round of the ACC Tournament, I think we had something to prove and something more to accomplish,” senior Nandini Das said after the team’s Sweet 16 win over Texas A&M. “I never would like to go out without having wins like this.”
In their way of the first Final Four berth in school history stands Texas, the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
“Everyone is good in this tournament right now,” head coach Jen Hyde said on Tuesday. “No one left in this tournament has a weakness.”
A quick summary of the Longhorns’ season from Texas’ official site:
Texas is 28-1 in dual-match play this spring with three wins against Top-10 opponents, nine over Top-25 foes and 17 against Top-50 opponents. The Longhorns have defeated No. 2 UCLA (4-2), No. 7 Baylor (7-0), No. 8 Baylor (4-0), No. 13 Northwestern (4-1), No. 15 Baylor (6-1), No. 16 Ohio State (4-1), No. 18 UCF (4-0), No. 23 Baylor (4-0), No. 23 Oklahoma (4-2), No. 27 Rice (4-0), No. 28 Texas Tech (4-1), No. 31 Arizona State (4-0), No. 31 Oklahoma State (6-1), No. 32 Oklahoma (7-0), No. 42 Iowa State (7-0), No. 48 Kansas (4-0) and No. 49 Kansas (6-1). UT’s only loss was a 4-3 thriller to No. 1 North Carolina in the championship match of the ITA Indoor Championship (Feb. 7). The Longhorns currently boast a 21-match win streak.
“The last five years, there’s been a lot of, ‘this is the first time we’ve done this,’” Das said during a press conference Tuesday. “If we backed down from a challenge every time [we could do something for the first time,] we probably would have accomplished nothing.”
“We’re playing for a national championship, and this is where we want to be.”
No. 7 Florida State (19-5, 11-2 ACC) vs. No. 2 Texas (28-1, 9-0 Big 12)
1 p.m., Wed. May 19
USTA National Campus (Orlando, Fla.)
Tennis Channel (may be showing other matches)
TennisONE app (courts 7-12)