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Tuesday April 29, 2008Tennis Teams To Host NCAA First and Second Rounds

Gainesville, FL

 

Both the University of Florida men's and women's tennis teams were chosen as one of 16 hosts of their respective NCAA First and Second Round Championship matches, the NCAA Committee announced on Tuesday afternoon from Indianapolis.

 

The event will run from May 9 to 11 at UF's Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Gator women will host two first round matches on Friday, May 9 and a second round contest on Saturday, May 10, while the men will play their first round matches on Saturday and the second round on the Sunday, May 11. The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Tulsa, Okla., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond. This season, the University of Tulsa plays host to the combined men's and women's tournament from the Round of 16 through the final. The women's Round of 16 begins on Thursday, May 15, while men's action gets underway on Friday, May 16.

 

The Gator women, ranked No. 6 in the country with a 20-2 overall record, received the No. 6 seed in the 64-team draw. Florida faces Atlantic Sun Conference championship Jacksonville (20-5) in its NCAA First Round contest on Friday, May 9 beginning at 6 p.m. The other NCAA Women's First Round match played in Gainesville features 29th-ranked Auburn (15-9) versus 35th-ranked Ohio State (19-7). That match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Friday. The winning teams from those first round matches meet in the Second Round on Saturday at 4 p.m. UF has hosted First and Second round matches every year since the NCAA Women's Championships expanded its field to 64 teams in 1999.

 

The Florida women's team is making its 25th appearance in the 26-year history of the NCAA Championships, missing only the 1986 event. The Gators won NCAA team titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003 and have advanced to at least the NCAA Semifinals 17 times in the last 20 years.

 

"We have a very challenging Regional here in Gainesville and we are excited to be hosting it," said Gator women's coach Roland Thornqvist, who is in his seventh year at UF. "We'll play Jacksonville in the first round and any time you play another team from the state of Florida you have to be ready. If we're fortunate enough to advance, we'll play either Auburn, who we've had two incredible tough matches against, or Ohio State, a team that has recently generated a lot of interest with postseason events in other sports. I've seen great motivation from our team since the (SEC Tournament) loss to Georgia. We haven't tried to predict the NCAA bracket or outcomes. We have just been focused on what we have needed to do to get ready for this tournament."

 

The Gator men, ranked No. 9 in the country with a 15-7 overall record, received the No. 10 overall seed in the NCAA draw and the top seed in the Gainesville regional. Florida will play Navy (20-8) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of the No. 19 Miami (16-7) and No. 42 USF (14-6).

 

It is the 18th consecutive year that the UF men's team has received an NCAA Tournament bid, as UF is one of three teams nationally to earn a bid to the tournament each year since 1991. Last year, the Gators advanced to the Round of 16 for the14th time in the last 17 years. UFs best NCAA finish was in 2000 and 2005 when the Gators advanced to the semifinals. This season marks the first time since 2005 the men's team has hosted the NCAA first and second rounds. UF has done so five times under seventh-year head coach Andy Jackson.

 

"One of the major goals for the season was to host," said Jackson. "We are really excited to be able to since the last two years we've had to go on the road. Even though we've won on the road, we know how difficult it is. We know that hosting is not a free pass to the Round of 16. This year we've played five freshman and two seniors the majority of the season. We are ranked in the top 10 and have had two wins against top five ranked opponents so we're happy with the way the season has gone so far, but at the end of it your season is your performance in the NCAA tournament."

 

The announcement of the participants for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be held on Wednesday, April 30, with the names of the individuals posted to the NCAA web site.

 

Ticket Information:

Tickets may be purchased in advance or on each day of the tournament. An ALL-SESSION pass is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for senior citizens, college students, and children under 17. SINGLE DAY tickets for Friday and Saturday are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens, college students, and children under 17. SINGLE DAY tickets for Sunday are $3.00 for everyone.

 

The schedule of team play in Gainesville is as follows:

 

Friday, May 9 * Women's NCAA First Round

3 p.m.

Auburn vs. Ohio State

6 p.m.

Florida vs. Jacksonville

 

Saturday May 10 * Men's NCAA First Round

10 a.m.

Florida vs. Navy

1 p.m.

Miami (Fla.) vs. USF

Saturday May 10 * Women's NCAA Second Round

4 p.m.

Friday's First Round winners

 

Sunday May 11 * Men's NCAA Second Round

1 p.m.

Saturday's First Round winners

 

 

End of Report

 

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