Syracuse Tennis Welcomes Florida State and Miami to Drumlins This Weekend

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 11:58 am by Sports Editor

By Samuel Reis | @SamuelReisTV 

Citrus TV Tennis Beat Reporter


As we approach the final days of February, No. 53 Syracuse still remains undefeated with a record of 7-0. After narrowly defeating No. 46 Boston College in their ACC opener, the upcoming slate only becomes more difficult for the Orange. Up next, SU hosts a couple of sunshine state squads. No. 35 Florida State comes to town on Friday and No. 23 Miami makes a visit on Sunday. The good news for Syracuse is that this weekend marks the start of a 5 match homestand.


Friday’s opponent, Florida State, comes in without playing an ACC match yet. The Seminoles boast a 5-3 record. However, the level of competition for FSU has been notably higher than what Syracuse has gone up against. SU did not play a single top-75 opponent, according to the latest ITA rankings, in its six non-conference matches to open the season. Conversely, Florida State has gone up against four such opponents already. That included a win over No. 42 Arkansas and a loss to then-No. 7 Stanford as part of ITA Kickoff Weekend. Additionally, the Seminoles fell to then-No. 18 Florida and No. 16 Old Dominion. All three losses for FSU have come on the road, something that could give SU belief.


The most impressive player that Florida State has to offer is the 87th ranked singles player in the country, Anna Arkadianou. The junior has played #1 singles in every dual thus far. Playing in that position as the top singles player for the Seminoles has not been easy. The Greek won her first singles match of the season but has since dropped her last four. That included three losses against nationally ranked singles players, two of which were ranked higher than her. The struggles Arkadianou has experienced lately could give Syracuse some needed confidence. It is likely that Head Coach Younes Limam places Zeynep Erman at #1 singles for the second consecutive match. The senior for the Orange lost to No. 119 Marice Aguiar of Boston College 6-7, 6-4, 2-6. However, the effort Erman showed in a very competitive match was very promising. 


In doubles, the Seminoles have looked good, only dropping the doubles point in two duals. Interestingly enough, Syracuse has won the doubles point in all five home duals so far. In their two away duals, the Orange dropped the doubles point but managed to come back in singles on both occasions. Doubles is only worth one point, but it should be an intriguing battle between these teams to decide who gets the “head start” in the dual. Last year, Florida State prevailed 4-3 down in Tallahassee near the end of the regular season before ultimately getting to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. It should not come as a surprise if we get a similarly competitive dual this weekend between the Seminoles and the Orange.


The second opponent of the weekend, No. 23 Miami, will likely provide even more of a challenge for Syracuse. In last year’s meeting in Coral Gables, Miami cruised to a 4-0 victory. That team went on to make it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Hurricanes currently stand at 4-1 with every one of their matches being played at home up to this point. This weekend will be their first venture away from home, going to Boston College to open up ACC play on Friday before facing Syracuse on Sunday. Similar to Florida State, Miami has also played some quality non-conference opponents. That includes three nationally ranked teams. The Hurricanes beat No. 45 Florida International University and then-No. 20 California. They also lost by a close 4-3 margin to then-No. 24 Iowa State, which is now ranked 4th in the country. 


Alexa Noel is undoubtedly the player to watch out for on the Hurricanes. The redshirt sophomore has been lethal in both doubles and singles. In doubles, the New Jersey native is 4-0. While she was paired with Isabella Pfennig for the first few duals of the season playing #2 doubles, she played with Daevenia Achong at #1 doubles in the last match against California. The duo is ranked No. 9 in the country and could very well be paired up against the Orange this weekend. Zeynep Erman and Shiori Ito will likely counter them for Syracuse which is sure to be a tough task for the number one doubles team.


Noel is 4-1 in singles for Miami and ranked No. 8 in the country for singles. All four matches she won were comfortable straight sets victories. Her only loss was a tight three setter against 57th ranked Thasaporn Naklo of Iowa State. Assuming Zeynep Erman once again plays #1 singles, she is sure to have her hands full. This will easily be the most difficult opponent she faces so far. Elsewhere on the roster, Miami has not shown much vulnerability outside of its loss against a very talented Iowa State team.


After a red hot start to the season, this weekend certainly feels like it will provide us with a good indicator on what Syracuse is truly capable of. Before the focus shifts to Miami, Syracuse looks to take down Florida State on Friday at 4 p.m. Make sure to follow my twitter @SamuelReisTV for complete coverage of both duals this weekend from Drumlins as the Orange aim to remain undefeated.