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Roland Thornqvist, Lauren Embree & Dave Balogh

Friday May 21, 2010Embree, Thornqvist and Balogh Honored Regionally; WTennis Plays Miami in NCAA QF

Athens, GA

Roland Thornqvist, Lauren Embree & Dave Balogh

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced its Regional Division I Women’s Tennis Awards and Florida’s Lauren Embree, Roland Thornqvist and Dave Balogh were among the Southeast Region winners.

 

Embree earned recognition by the region’s coaches as the ITA Rookie Player of the Year, while Thornqvist was honored as the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year and Balogh noted as the ITA Assistant Coach of the Year.

 

The trio will be eligible in their respective categories for the national awards that will be announced on May 25.

 

Embree made history a few weeks ago, when the Southeastern Conference coaches voted her as the first freshman in league history named SEC Player of the Year. The Gator rookie has played the No. 1 singles position in every dual match, compiling a 17-3 record which includes Thursday’s 6-4, 7-6 (4) win against Ole Miss’ Kristi Boxx that clinched the team victory and sent Florida into the NCAA Championships quarterfinal round. Overall, Embree sports a 29-5 record, with a 23-5 record against nationally-ranked opponents. She has compiled a 34-6 doubles record, including a 21-3 dual match record.

 

The regional honor is the first for Thornqvist, who has led the Gators to a 27-2 record this year and a spot in Saturday’s NCAA Quarterfinals against Miami-Fla. The squad captured the SEC regular-season with an undefeated 11-0 record for the 18th time in program history, before winning the SEC Tournament title for the sixth time in his nine-year tenure with the Gators. Thornqvist, who was honored by the league’s coaches as the 2010 SEC Coach of the Year, has compiled a 216-28 record at UF and a 291-78 career record spanning 14 years.

 

Balogh’s honor is his third ITA Regional Award, as he also was recognized in 2002 and 2006, being named the national winner in 2002, when he aided Thornqvist in his first year with the Gators. Balogh has been coaching Florida since the 2001 season and has guided the Gators to a 36-6 NCAA record in his 10 years in Gainesville.

 

Florida returns to the court on Saturday at 1 p.m., playing No. 11 Miami (Fla.) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships held at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.

 

The Gators defeated Ole Miss, 4-1, in the round of 16, while the Hurricanes (20-5) upset No. 6-seeded Northwestern, 4-1, in their match.

 

The Gators and Hurricanes have not played each other since Feb. 18, 2007, when Florida earned the thrilling 4-3 victory in Gainesville. Florida leads the all-time series against Miami, 33-21, with the teams tied 2-2 in NCAA meetings. The last NCAA match-up came in the 2004 NCAA second round, when the Hurricanes stunned the Gators, 4-3, in Gainesville, snapping UF’s 40-match win streak.

 

Florida owns a 19-4 all-time record in the NCAA quarterfinal round, with the last win coming in 2008.

 

Complete NCAA Quarterfinal Schedule for May 22:

(3) Florida vs. (11) Miami-Fla., 1 p.m.

(2) North Carolina vs. (10) Duke, 2 p.m.

(5) Notre Dame vs. (13) Tennessee, 4 p.m.

(1) Baylor vs. (8) Stanford, 5 p.m.

 

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