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Seniors Marrit Boonstra & Anastasia Revzina

Wednesday May 12, 2010Seniors Lead Way for Women's Tennis Team's Success

Gainesville, Fla.

Seniors Marrit Boonstra & Anastasia Revzina

 

By Vincent Alvarado

 

Egos can win attention, but can’t win tennis matches.

 

With the NCAA Tennis Championships beginning Friday, the University of Florida women’s tennis program can show the country why egos can’t be served on a tennis court.

 

The Southeastern Conference champion Gators played through their 24-2 season with the mix of leadership from two returning seniors and the talent of five newcomers. The recruiting class was ranked No.1 in the country and entered this season with high expectations met by freshmen Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), SEC Player of the Year, and Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.), SEC Freshman of the Year. Last year was one of UF’s most difficult tennis seasons in program history for a variety of reasons, but leadership shown by seniors Marrit Boonstra (The Netherlands) and Anastasia Revzina (Moscow, Russia) helped return the program quickly to national prominence.

 

“On this team, we really didn’t have any separation,” Revzina said. “We all have the same goal of winning the championship and that’s what has brought us together.”

 

Both Embree and Will came to UF with playing experience from the French and U.S. Open tournaments; experience which boosted team confidence towards the SEC Championship and beyond. Both freshmen have led the way for the Gators by combining for an overall 71-8 singles record in dual match play. They enter the NCAA Championships sporting singles winning streaks of 13 and 23, respectively, while helping Florida win its last 17 matches.

 

“The freshmen who came in already had lots of experience so we just helped them as much as we could,” Boonstra said. “We practice hard every day and that’s not always the case when it comes to a college team playing tennis.”

 

Revzina said she and Boonstra have both helped the freshmen by giving them advice on their opponents and playing environments. Both also helped usher in team expectations and made the transition into the program more comfortable.

 

“Throughout the whole season the seniors have been really good leaders and as a team we have been able to come together and work really hard,” Embree said.

 

The team earned a No. 3 seed for this year’s NCAA Championships under SEC Coach of the Year Roland Thornqvist and has its eyes set on winning the program’s fifth NCAA championship.

 

“Our seniors have allowed our freshmen to come in and just play tennis, and that has given our younger players less stress and has allowed them to play at a higher level,” Thornqvist said. “The team chemistry has been at its best in my nine years of coaching here.”

 

The Gators play host to one of 16 first and second round regionals and face Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion South Carolina State (16-5) in their NCAA First Round contest on Friday, 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.

 

Freshman, sophomore, senior, it all doesn’t really matter because we are all here to play tennis,” Revzina said. “We are all here to win and I have confidence that we will do just that.”

 

 

NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional Information

What: NCAA Team Championships First & Second Rounds

When: First Round: May 14 - Washington vs. Utah, 11 a.m.

      Florida vs. South Carolina St., 1 p.m.

      Second Round: May 15 - First Round winners, 3 p.m.

Where: Gainesville, Fla.

Facility: Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex (1,000)

Web Site (live scoring): www.GatorZone.com

Television Coverage: none; Team Finals only - LIVE on ESPNU, 2 PM ... tape delay on ESPN2 at 10:30 pm

Post-Match Feed: none from Regionals

Ticket Info: ALL-SESSION Pass - $10 for adults & $5 for senior citizens, college students & children under 17. SINGLE DAY tickets for Friday and Saturday - $5 for adults & $3 for senior citizens, college students and children under 17; SINGLE DAY tickets for Sunday are $3.00 for everyone

 

-UF-

 

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