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Senior Whitney Benik earned wins on the singles & doubles courts in final home match of her career.

Saturday May 10, 2008Women's Tennis Advances to NCAA Round of 16 with 4-0 win Over Auburn

Gainesville, FL

Senior Whitney Benik earned wins on the singles & doubles courts in final home match of her career.

 

The University of Florida women’s tennis team advanced to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the 21st time in the last 22 years after posting a 4-0 victory over Auburn on Saturday at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

The sixth-seeded Gators (22-2) next will face their second consecutive Southeastern Conference opponent, playing 11th-seeded Vanderbilt (20-5) in the NCAA Third Round on Thursday, May 15 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

 

After gaining the momentum by winning the doubles point, Florida raced out to early leads on the singles courts, winning the first set at all six positions en route to collecting victories at the No. 4, 5 and 6 spots to cap its home season with an 11-0 record, the 18th undefeated home campaign in program history. Seniors Whitney Benik (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Lolita Frangulyan (Bradenton, Fla.) made history in their final home match, as they ended their four-year tenure in Gainesville helping the Gators to a 53-0 record and joined Florida’s 1998 senior class of Bonnie Bleecker and Dawn Buth as the only other class never to lose a home match.

 

On Saturday, freshman Marrit Boonstra (The Netherlands) set the tone on the No. 5 singles court, where she blitzed past Jil Hastenrath, 6-0, 6-1, nearly collecting her second consecutive double-bagel, but was denied when Hastenrath earned a break in the fourth game of the second set. Boonstra stormed back, however, and won the next two games a love and garnered her seventh break of the match to earn the victory and give the Gators a 2-0 lead.

 

Benik followed shortly afterwards with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Whitney Chappell at the No. 4 position. Early in the match, it appeared as though the match wouldn’t have a chance to reach its conclusion because it was the last of the six matches to finish its first set. Benik, however, seemed determined to earn a decision in her final home match and began painting the lines with ground stroke winners and zipped past Chappell in the second set, as she earned her 97th career singles victory.

 

Sophomore Anastasia Revzina (Russia) then polished off the dual match with her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Dunja Djuranovic on court No. 6. After Revzina had her way in the first set and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, Djuranovic got on the board by holding in the third game and later earning a break in the sixth. Revzina prevented her from getting the match back on-serve, though, by following with a break of her own and holding for a 5-3 lead. She then earned one final break to post her team-leading 14th consecutive singles victory and send the Gators to the NCAA Round of 16.

 

Florida held healthy leads on the three abandoned singles courts, including the No. 3 spot where sophomore Megan Alexander (Dallas, Texas) was ahead 6-2, 5-1 against Melissa Koning, freshman Julia Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.) took the first set from 14th-ranked Fani Chifchieva and was down a break early in the second and sophomore Csilla Borsanyi (Hungary) carried a 6-1, 3-2 lead over Alex Haney when Revzina ended the dual match with her clinching victory.

 

The Gators were equally impressive on the doubles courts, winning the initial point for the 24th time (every dual match this season). The No. 3 pair of Cohen and Revzina improved to 19-0 this year after defeating Djuranovic and Hastenrath, 8-1, in just 35 minutes. Florida and Auburn split the other two matches, with the final point of both being played at the exact same time and the Gator duo of Benik and Borsanyi edging out their 8-2 win before the Tigers’ Haney and Koning took the 8-4 decision at the No. 1 spot.

 

 

Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist

On the team’s performance against Auburn:

“I thought we played terrific tennis. Auburn played great to beat us at No. 1 doubles. We had a lead, but they played fantastic to beat us there. There’s a reason why you have to win two out of three to win the point, and we looked fantastic at both No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. They had hurt us in the past in a few spots, but we played well in those spots today. We moved better, we looked tougher and we hit the ball the best we have all year.”

 

On senior Whitney Benik:

“Whitney has played so well for a long time, and she wants to get to a certain number in the win column, which makes her put some extra pressure on herself. She was able to relax today, which she wasn’t quite able to do yesterday, and she subsequently played better. She’s been a special player, and she’s always taken great pride in playing at Florida. The Gators play the best when she leads us, and she’s doing a great job of that right now.”

 

On facing Vanderbilt in the NCAA Round of 16:

“We’ve played them twice before, and they’re very good in certain spots. If we practice for them with the same focus that we’ve shown over the last few weeks, I think we’ll be ready.”

 

Florida senior Whitney Benik

On facing Vanderbilt in the NCAA Round of 16:

“Vanderbilt is a great team. We beat them twice, so they’re going to come out with some energy, but if we can play like we did today, we’ll be ready for anything.”

 

 

Auburn Head Coach, Tim Gray

On the team’s performance:

“We went out and fought hard today, hats go off to Florida, they played great.  (Florida) is tough at anytime, but are particularly tough at home and we knew that coming in.  Our thoughts were, the longer we kept them out there the better the chance we had, but they just didn’t let us keep them out there very long. We had a great year, our program is turning the corner and we’re making strides every year. We’ll just keep working and maybe we’ll have another crack at them next year.”

 

On the strategy coming into the match:

“I think everybody fought hard.  Top to bottom, we’re just not as talented as Florida and we knew that coming in. Our philosophy was to out work them, we worked hard on every court and we just got out played. That happens sometimes and that definitely happened today.”

 

 

NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships

Second Round (Round of 32)

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

 

Final Score: Florida 4, Auburn 0

 

Doubles

1. Alex Haney/Melissa Koning (14), AU def. Megan Alexander/Marrit Boonstra (8), UF 8-4  

2. Whitney Benik/Csilla Borsanyi, UF def. Whitney Chappell/Fani Chifchieva, AU 8-2*

3. Julia Cohen/Anastasia Revzina, UF def. Dunja Djuranovic/Jil Hastenrath, AU 8-1

 

Singles

1. Julia Cohen (29), UF vs. Fani Chifchieva (14), AU DNF (UF led 6-4, 1-3)

2. Csilla Borsanyi (33), UF vs. Alex Haney (71), AU DNF (UF led 6-1, 3-2)

3. Megan Alexander (116), UF vs. Melissa Koning, AU DNF (UF led 6-2, 5-1)

4. Whitney Benik, UF def. Whitney Chappell, AU 6-3, 6-0

5. Marrit Boonstra, UF def. Jil Hastenrath, AU 6-0, 6-1

6. Anastasia Revzina (96), UF def. Dunja Djuranovic, AU 6-1, 6-3*

 

Order of Finish: Doubles-3, 2*, 1; Singles- 5, 4, 6*

Updated Records: Florida 22-2; Auburn 17-10

*indicates clinching doubles point/dual match victory

 

NOTES:

*UF advances to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 21st time in the last 22 years

*UF caps home season with a perfect 11-0 record, the 18th undefeated home slate in program history

*UF’s Anastasia Revzina wins her 14th consecutive singles match

*Senior class of Whitney Benik and Lolita Frangulyan produced a 53-0 home record during their career, just the second Gator senior class to go undefeated at home (1998 Class of Bonnie Bleecker and Dawn Buth went 44-0)

*UF wins 53rd consecutive home match

*Benik wins her 97th career singles match

*UF wins the doubles point for the 24th time this season (every dual match)

*UF improves to 145-1 all-time at home versus SEC teams

*Saturday marked the third meeting this season between Florida and Auburn, with the Gators winning all three to improve to 30-0 in the all-time series

*Auburn ends its season in NCAA Second Round to an SEC team for second straight year (lost to Georgia in 2007)

 

END OF REPORT

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