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Tuesday May 4, 2010Florida Tennis Teams To Host NCAA First and Second Rounds

Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida men's and women's tennis teams both 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 14 to 16 at UF's Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.  

 

The Gator women will host two first round matches on Friday, May 14 and a second round contest on Saturday, May 15, while the men will play their first round matches on Saturday and the second round on the Sunday, May 16. The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Athens, Ga., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond.

 

·          Video: Reaction from the Men's and Women's Teams

 

This season, the University of Georgia 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 20, while women's action gets underway on Friday, May 21.

 

The Gator women, ranked No. 3 in the country with a 24-2 overall record, received the No. 3 seed in the 64-team draw. Florida faces Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion South Carolina State (16-5) in its NCAA First Round contest on Fri., May 14 at 2 p.m. The other NCAA Women’s First Round match played in Gainesville features 29th-ranked Washington (11-5) versus 40th-ranked Utah (17-7) on Friday at 11 a.m. The winning teams from those first-round matches meet in the second round on Saturday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

 

Washington is coached by Jill (Hetherington) Hultquist, who was one of the all-time great letterwinners in Gator history, playing from 1984-87. She earned All-America honors each of her four years and was inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

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 27th appearance in the 28-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 18 times in the last 22 years.

 

“We’re very pleased to be hosting and have the opportunity to play in front of our terrific fans on our home courts again,” UF women’s head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “I was very surprised when I saw the draw because we’ve never had two teams from so far away have to travel to Gainesville for a regional. We’re excited to see new teams in Gainesville. We don’t know much about any of the three other teams in our regional so we’ll spend the next few days doing as much research as we can on them. It’s exciting to finally know who you’re going to be playing and I think our energy level will go to another level in practice.”

 

It will be the second-ever meeting between Florida and the South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs, which met in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, with the Gators taking the 4-0 victory in Gainesville. The Gators also are 1-0 all-time against Washington, with that match also coming in postseason action, as Florida earned the 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2001 event held in Stone Mountain, Ga. Florida is 10-0 against Utah, with the last meeting a 8-1 Gator decision on April 4, 2000 in Gainesville. The Gators and Utes have never played in the NCAA Tournament.

 

The Gator men, ranked No. 6 with a 19-4 overall record, received the sixth overall seed in the NCAA draw and the top seed in the Gainesville regional. Florida will play South Carolina State (11-10) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of Auburn (11-12) and Troy (20-4). 

 

“Hosting is something that was a goal and it’s hard-earned, so we’re excited about that,” men’s head coach Andy Jackson said. “I don’t know much about South Carolina State, so I’m going to have to find out. I know a lot about Auburn. Auburn is extremely good. We played two very close matches against them, so if we get through it’s going to be a very quick, early challenge.”

 

It is the 20th consecutive year that the UF men's team has received an NCAA Tournament bid. UF has advanced to the Round of 16 on 15 occasions in its previous 19 NCAA appearances, including seven of eight under Jackson. Dating back to his time at Mississippi State, Jackson’s teams have reached the Round of 16 in 17 of the past 19 years.

 

Florida has never faced South Carolina State, the 2010 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), on the men’s side. UF has also never faced Troy, but Auburn is a familiar SEC opponent that the Gators have already faced twice this spring. Florida won both of those matchups, including a 5-2 win in Gainesville on March 12 and a 4-1 victory in the SEC Tournament semifinals on April 24 in Lexington, Ky.

 

The announcement of the participants for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 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 $10.00 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. Spectators interested in purchasing advance ALL-SESSION Pass may do so by contacting:

 

Gator Ticket Office

Post Office Box 14485

Gainesville, FL  32604

352/375-4683, ext. 6800

352/372-5801 (fax)

 

Tickets also are available for purchase online at www.Gatorzone.com/tickets

 

Gates will open for fans one hour prior to the start of the first competition each day.  Please note that seating is on a first come, first served basis.  No saving of seats will be permitted. A Will Call window for the teams will also be located at the Ring Tennis Complex entrance.

 

 

The schedule of team play in Gainesville is as follows:

 

Friday, May 14 * Women's NCAA First Round

11 a.m.

Washington vs. Utah

2 p.m.

Florida vs. South Carolina State

 

Saturday, May 15 * Men's NCAA First Round

9 a.m.

Auburn vs. Troy 

12 p.m.

Florida vs. South Carolina State

Saturday, May 15 * Women's NCAA Second Round

3 p.m.

Friday's First Round winners

 

Sunday, May 16 * Men's NCAA Second Round

2 p.m.

Saturday's First Round winners

 

End of Report

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