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Wednesday May 14, 2008Women's Tennis Plays Vanderbilt in NCAA Round of 16 on Thursday

Tulsa, OK

The sixth-seeded University of Florida women’s tennis team plays 11th-seeded Vanderbilt in the NCAA Championships Round of 16 on Thursday evening beginning at 7 p.m. EST, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

 

Thursday’s match will be the third time this season the Gators (22-2) and Commodores (20-5) square off, with Florida earning victories in the previous two contests, including the hard-fought 4-2 decision in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

 

First Serve

     The Gators are making their 21st appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 in the last 22 years. Florida sports a 22-2 all-time record in Round of 16 matches, winning 22 consecutive at this stage of the tournament. The last loss in the Round of 16 was a 7-2 setback to UCLA in 1983. The Gators lost the previous year (the first year of the NCAA Championship), 5-4, to South Carolina.

 

Second Serve

     The 2008 NCAA Championships marks only the fourth time ever Florida has traveled the 905 miles to play in the state of Oklahoma, and the first time since March 17, 1990, when the Gators defeated Oklahoma State, 7-2.

     Florida also participated in the 1985 NCAA Championship held in Oklahoma City, where the Gators defeated U.S. International 5-4 in the Round of 16, before losing to Miami 7-2 in the quarterfinals.

 

Déjà Vu All Over Again

     Forgive the Gators if they have a sense of doing this already ... but Florida played Auburn in the second round of the 2008 SEC Tournament, before playing Vanderbilt in the third round (semifinals) and Georgia in the final. In the 2008 NCAA Championship, the Gators defeated Auburn in the second round and are playing Vanderbilt in the third round... with a possible fourth-round meeting against another team from the Peach State (Georgia Tech) on the horizon.

 

Florida vs. Vanderbilt

     Thursday’s Round of 16 contest marks the third meeting this season between Florida and Vanderbilt, with the Gators winning both.

     Thursday’s match also will be the third-ever contest between the two clubs in NCAA Championships action, where Florida won the previous two outings. The Gators claimed the 4-0 decision in the quarterfinals of the 2003 event en route to winning their fourth NCAA title. The first postseason battle was in the 1999 Round of 16 and the Gators also took that outcome, 4-0.

     Florida holds a 36-2 all-time record against Vanderbilt, including the 5-2 regular-season Gator win in Gainesville on February 29. Florida has won six consecutive matches against the Commodores, including victories in the 2005, 2007 & 2008 SEC Tournament semifinals.

 

What’s Next?

     The winner of Friday’s match plays the winner of the No. 3 seed Georgia Tech - No. 17-32 seed Texas (ranked No. 19) match on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in the quarterfinal round.

     Georgia Tech is the defending NCAA champion and features five players who were instrumental in the Yellow Jacket’s title run last season. A quarterfinal meeting would be the first-ever match between the two programs.

 

     A Texas-Florida quarterfinal match-up would be a return to the mid-90s when the two programs met regularly deep in NCAA action. While the Gators lead the all-time series against the Lady Longhorns 25-9 (including this year’s 5-2 UF win in Austin), Texas carries a 4-3 edge in NCAA play.

     The last meeting was a thrilling 4-3 decision in favor of the Horns, who stunned the No. 2-seeded Gators in the 2005 semifinals. The 1998 quarterfinal matchup was the least dramatic of all seven postseason encounters, with UF earning a 5-0 win en route to winning the program’s third NCAA title. The real drama came in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995, when Texas won those final three decisions, including the 1995 meeting in the final where the Longhorns rallied for a 5-4 victory to claim the national championship. The first NCAA meeting was in the 1992 final, when the Gators emerged with a 5-3 victory to capture their first-ever NCAA crown.

 

How the Gators Advanced:

 

Gators Top Auburn 4-0 in Second Round

     Florida advanced to the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the 21st time in the last 22 years after posting a 4-0.

     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 and Lolita Frangulyan made history in their final home match, as they ended their four-year tenure in Gainesville helping the Gators to a 53-0 record.

     Marrit Boonstra 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. Benik followed shortly afterwards with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Whitney Chappell at the No. 4 position, as she earned her 97th career singles victory. Sophomore Anastasia Revzina then polished off the dual match with her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Dunja Djuranovic on court No. 6 to post her team-leading 14th consecutive singles victory and send the Gators to the NCAA Round of 16.

     The Gators were equally impressive on the doubles courts, winning the initial point for the 24th time (every dual match this season), highlighted by the No. 3 pair of Julia Cohen and Revzina, who improved to 19-0 this year after defeating Djuranovic and Hastenrath, 8-1, in just 35 minutes.

 

UF Blanks Jacksonville in NCAA First Round

     Florida showed little signs of rust from having a 19-day break since playing its last match, overpowering Jacksonville, 4-0, in the first round.

     The Gators  raced out to a quick 1-0 lead after collecting the doubles point, something they have accomplished in every dual match this season. During their NCAA opening round victory, the Gators received singles wins from freshmen Marrit Boonstra and Julia Cohen, before sophomore Anastasia Revizna 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 in 56 minutes. Cohen followed four minutes later with an impressive 6-1, 6-0 decision over Lina Xu at the No. 1 spot. 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 collected the first decision, before Csilla Borsanyi and Whitney Benik clinched the doubles points with an 8-2 win. 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.

 

Florida at the NCAA Championships

*Florida has competed in 26 of the 27 NCAA Championships, missing only the 1986 event.

 

*The Gators boast a 73-21 all-time record in the NCAA Championships, winning four national championships (1992, ‘96, ‘98 and 2003).

 

*The Gators won NCAA team titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003 and have advanced to at least the NCAA Semifinals 18 times in the last 21 years.

 

*Since the NCAA expanded the field to 64 teams, Florida has been a perfect 10-0 in first-round matches. The Gators are 9-1 in the second round, 22-2 in round of 16 contests, 18-4 in the quarterfinals, 10-8 in the semifinals and 4-6 in the title match.

 

Florida as the No. 6 Seed

     This is the first time since seedings were assigned in 1987 NCAA Tournament that the Gators have been awarded the No. 6 seed ... it also is the lowest seeding for Florida, which entered the 1994 event as the No. 5 seed.

 

Familiar Faces Everywhere!

     Florida played 14 of its 22 pre-NCAA matches against teams in the 2008 NCAA Championships field, fielding a 12-2 record in those outings.

 

     The Gators were one of NINE of the 12 SEC schools earning a bid into the 2008 event, with Florida (No. 6), Georgia (No. 2) and Vanderbilt (No. 11) each receiving a top-16 seeding.

 

Round of 16 Familiarity

     Of the other 15 teams advancing to Tulsa, the Gators have faced five of them this season (Georgia, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Duke & Texas), posting a 5-2 record in those match-ups.

 

Florida vs. SEC Teams

     Florida is an incredible 346-19 all-time against the SEC, including a 296-12 record in regular-season matches.

 

Notable Numbers

Entering the NCAA Round of 16…

*Whitney Benik has 97 career singles wins, 76 in dual match action;

 

*Benik also a won a combined 202 singles & doubles matches, with the milestone 200th victory coming on the doubles court on May 9 in the first round of the NCAA Championships, as she became the 16th Gator to net 200 in her career;

 

*Csilla Borsanyi has won 49 singles matches.

 

Who’s Hot?

*The Gator doubles teams! Florida has yet to lose the doubles point in any of its 24 dual matches this season, holding an impressive 61-5 record in individual dual match doubles play.

     The Gators have owned the No. 3 position, winning 22 matches that have been contested (South Carolina defaulted the match, so UF received the win but it is not counted in the total). The No. 2 position has been almost as stingy, posting a 21-1 record.

 

*Senior Lolita Frangulyan has won 20 consecutive singles matches entering the NCAA Round of 16, posting a 15-0 record in dual match action.

 

*Sophomore Anastasia Revzina has won 14 consecutive singles matches.

 

*The doubles team of Julia Cohen & Anastasia Revzina has won 19 consecutive matches together - the fifth-longest win streak in program history. The run is one shy of the 20 straight won by Bonnie Bleecker and M.C. White during the 1996-97 season.

 

*Freshman Julia Cohen, who became the first Gator rookie to open the dual match season playing the No. 1 singles position since Anouschka Popp in 1994, sports a 14-5 singles record in her collegiate career, decisions at the No. 1 position. Cohen also sports a perfect 21-0 record in collegiate doubles matches.

 

*Freshman Marrit Boonstra opened her collegiate career with an unprecedented three consecutive double-bagels and posted four 6-0, 6-0 wins in her first five matches! Boonstra is 13-2 in her young collegiate singles career, while owning a 14-2 doubles mark, pairing with Megan Alexander at the No. 1 doubles position in every outing.

 

Benik on Pace for Double-100

     Whitney Benik enters the NCAA Round of 16 with a career singles record of 97-30, needing THREE more wins to become the 22nd Gator to win 100 in her career.

     If she reaches the milestone, Benik would be just the seventh Gator in the program’s illustrious history to win 100 singles and 100 doubles matches, joining Nicole Arendt, Dawn Buth, Jessica Lehnhoff, Stephanie Nickitas, Zerene Reyes and Nina Suvak as the only other Florida players ever to win 100 singles and 100 doubles matches during their careers.

 

 

NCAA Championships Information

When: Team Championships: May 15, 17, 19-20

     Singles & Doubles Championships: May 21-26

Where: Tulsa, Okla.

Facility: Michael D. Case Tennis Center

Live Website Scoring: tulsahurricane.com

Television Coverage: none until Team Final, which is LIVE on ESPNU, May 20 at 3 p.m. ET (replayed May 22 on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET)

Post-Match Satellite Feed:  none

Ticket Prices: The pricing for the twelve-day (12) all session ticket is   $100.00 for adults and $75.00 for youth (12 and under).  Daily general admission tickets are priced at $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for youth (12 and under).

 

END OF REPORT

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