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Friday May 9, 2008Women's Tennis Blanks Jacksonville in NCAA First Round

Gainesville, FL

 

The sixth-seeded University of Florida women’s tennis team showed little signs of rust from having a 19-day break since playing its last match, overpowering Jacksonville, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Championships on Friday evening at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

The Gators (21-2) raced out to a quick 1-0 lead after collecting the doubles point, something they have accomplished in every dual match this season, en route to advancing to the NCAA Second Round where they face Auburn (17-9) on Saturday beginning at approximately 4 p.m. The Tigers battled past Ohio State (19-9) in their opening-round match, 4-3.

 

Saturday will be the third time this season Florida and Auburn will meet, with the Gators earning wins in both contests, taking the 4-3 decision during the regular season and the 4-0 win in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.

 

During their NCAA opening round victory, the Gators received singles wins from freshmen Marrit Boonstra (The Netherlands) and Julia Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.), before sophomore Anastasia Revizna (Russia) polished off Florida’s 52 consecutive home victory and its 22nd straight versus in-state foes. The win also improved the Gators overall record in NCAA Round of 64 matches to 10-0.

 

Boonstra earned her fifth double-bagel victory in her young career, blanking Iva Jaresova, 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 5 position in 56 minutes. Cohen followed four minutes later with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 decision over Lina Xu at the No. 1 spot to give Florida a 3-0 lead in the team scoring. It appeared as though Csilla Borsanyi (Hungary) would provide the clinching Gator win, but couldn’t finish on two match points before Revzina played a steady and determined final game to net her 13th consecutive singles win, downing Fernanda Carrero, 6-0, 6-1 on court No. 6.

 

On the doubles courts, UF’s No. 1 pair of Megan Alexander (Dallas, Texas) and Boonstra downed Iva Jaresova and Tatiana Soldatova, 8-1, in 48 minutes, before Csilla Borsanyi (Hungary) and Whitney Benik (Delray Beach, Fla.) posted an 8-2 win against Lena Willi and Fernanda Carrero in 54 minutes.

 

Benik’s victory was historic, as it marked her 200th combined singles and doubles win during her four-year Gator career, becoming the 16th player in program history to reach the plateau.

 

The Dolphins (20-6), who were making their second ever NCAA appearance, fell to Florida by an identical score for the second consecutive season.

 

Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist

On the team’s performance against Jacksonville:

“We were very sharp tonight, which was nice because you don’t always know what to expect after three weeks off. We really had to play tonight because they were skilled in both singles and doubles. It was great preparation for tomorrow, and a great opening round for the Gators.”

 

On Florida’s doubles play on Friday:

“We looked very good at No. 1 doubles. If we give don’t give away points, we’re a very tough team to beat there because we’re so aggressive. We’ve been vulnerable when we’ve given up easy points because that prevents us from applying pressure, which we thrive on. We were a little flat in the beginning at No. 2 doubles, but we relaxed and started playing better.”

 

On Auburn having to play a longer match on Friday:

“They played longer and they played in the heat of the day, so that’s supposed to help us. Tomorrow is tomorrow, and they look fit enough to where today didn’t really bother them much. There isn’t really a physical edge for anyone going into tomorrow.”

 

On whether facing Auburn for a third time gives Florida an advantage:

“We were well prepared when we faced them in the SEC Championship because of the closeness of our first meet. We know that they’re excellent in certain spots, and we have to play really good tennis to beat them. We’ve got to be able to compete at all six (singles) spots if we want to be successful tomorrow.”

 

Florida freshman Julia Cohen

On her singles match against Jacksonville’s Lina Xiu:

“I felt like my movement was good and I got a lot of balls back tonight. I didn’t make too many errors, and I won (6-1, 6-0), so I feel good about how I played tonight.”

 

On facing Auburn tomorrow in the second round of the NCAA Championships:

“It’s exciting because they’re a good team. We’ve beaten them twice this year, but we’re not looking ahead of them. It’s going to be a tough match, and I’m looking forward to playing (Fani Chifchieva) again because she beat me earlier in the year.”

 

Florida freshman Marrit Boonstra

On the advantage of playing a short match against Jacksonville:

“If we keep winning, we have a lot of matches in a short period of time, so the quicker, the better. It’s nice to be able to save some energy.”

 

 

Jacksonville University Head Coach Shane Woods

On the performance of the team:

“I thought the girls played well.  We really fought through every court which was the goal that we had planned for ourselves.  Playing a nationally ranked program, I thought the team followed through really well.”

 

On the direction of the program:

“I think we’ve got a good foundation built, but we need a few more pieces and we need to keep working hard and to just keep working hard year after year.  As far as being here two years in a row, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

 

NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships

First Round (Round of 64)

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Friday, May 09, 2008

 

Final Score: Florida 4, Jacksonville 0

 

Doubles

1. Megan Alexander/Marrit Boonstra (8), UF def. Iva Jaresova/Tatiana Soldatova, JU 8-1

2. Whitney Benik/Csilla Borsanyi, UF def. Lena Willi/Fernanda Carrero, JU 8-2*

3. Julia Cohen/Anastasia Revzina, UF vs. Juliana Umeki/Lina Xu, JU DNF (UF led 6-3)

 

Singles

1. Julia Cohen (29), UF def. Lina Xu, JU 6-1, 6-0

2. Csilla Borsanyi (33), UF vs. Lena Willi, JU DNF (UF led 6-2, 5-0)

3. Megan Alexander (116), UF vs. Tatiana Soldatova, JU DNF (UF led 6-2, 2-1)

4. Whitney Benik, UF vs. Juliana Umeki, JU DNF (UF led 6-2, 5-2)

5. Marrit Boonstra, UF def. Iva Jaresova, JU 6-0, 6-0

6. Anastasia Revzina (96), UF def. Fernanda Carrero, JU 6-0, 6-1*

 

Order of Finish: Doubles-1, 2; Singles-5, 1, 6

Updated Records: Florida 21-2; Jacksonville 20-6

*indicates clinching doubles point/dual match victory

 

END OF REPORT

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