Sunday May 23, 2010Women's Tennis Plays No. 2 North Carolina in NCAA Semifinals on Monday
After gutting out two hard-fought victories in four days, the third-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team earned a trip to the NCAA Semifinals, where the Gators will play No. 2 North Carolina on Monday at 1 p.m. at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Florida (28-2) defeated Ole Miss in the round of 16 and Miami (Fla.) in Saturday’s quarterfinal to earn its 20th appearance in the NCAA Semifinals in the last 24 years. North Carolina (30-4), which defeated Florida State and Duke in its previous two matches, is making its first-ever semifinals appearance.
Monday will be the second meeting this season between the Gators and Tar Heels. Florida earned a 6-1 victory against North Carolina on March 10. The Gators took the doubles point with a 9-8 (2) win at No. 1, after the other two spots split. The singles matches were equally as close and the final score not indicative of how competitive that match was. The Gators are 8-2 all-time against the Tar Heels and have never met in the NCAAs.
Florida is 10-9 all-time in NCAA Semifinal round matches, last advancing the championship match in 2003, when the Gators defeated Duke, 4-1, prior to downing Stanford, 4-3, in the final played in Gainesville.
Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from North Carolina in 1996. He earned All-America honors in 1992 and 1993 competing for the Tar Heels tennis team. He also coached his alma mater for three years prior to taking helm of the Gator program in 2002. He posted a 42-30 record in Chapel Hill, helping the program earn its first-ever NCAA berth.
The winner of Monday’s NCAA semifinal match advances to the championship and faces the winner of the match between No. 5-seed Notre Dame (26-3) and No. 8-seed Stanford (24-1) in the final to be played on Tue., May 25 at 2 p.m.
The Gators’ 6-1 win against North Carolina on March 10 was the third time this season Florida played a team that was ranked No. 1 at some time during the year. The other two schools were that were top-ranked prior to the meeting against the Gators were Northwestern (lost 4-3) and Duke (won 7-0).
Florida has won 21 consecutive matches entering the NCAA Semifinals. The 21-match run is the longest since the 2004 season, when the team strung together 40 consecutive wins before falling to Miami, 4-3, in the NCAA Second Round.
UNC eclipsed the program-record for wins with its impressive victory against Florida State and has won 17 of its last 18 matches entering Monday’s contest.
Three freshmen, one sophomore and two seniors comprise Florida’s primary dual match lineup, with a pair of rookies playing atop of the lineup.
Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) has been nothing short of remarking during her rookie campaign, as she sports an overall singles record of 30-5 and a 34-6 doubles record. Embree is 18-3 in dual match singles action, with all coming at the No. 1 position. She also sports a 22-3 dual match doubles record, all at the No. 2 spot. Embree collected a pair of wins in Saturday’s NCAA Quarterfinal victory, as she upset seventh-ranked Laura Vallveradu on the singles court, 6-4, 6-2, after teaming with sophomore Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) to halt the double-digit win streak held by Miami’s number two doubles pair.
Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) enters the NCAA Semifinals sporting a team-best 45-3 overall singles record, as well as a 35-5 doubles mark, tied with Embree for the most wins. The 45 victories are tied for the seventh-most in a season. Will is 25-0 in dual match singles action this year, with a 24-0 record at the No. 2 spot and a 1-0 ledger on court No. 1. Will enters Monday’s match riding a 25-match winning streak, tied for the fifth-longest in program history.
Not to be outdone by their younger teammates, seniors Marrit Boonstra (The Netherlands) and Anastasia Revzina (Moscow, Russia) have put up impressive numbers during their respective collegiate careers. Entering the NCAA Semifinals, Boonstra sports a career 76-16 singles record, with a 59-8 mark in dual matches. Revzina has amassed a 95-27 career singles record, including a 70-14 all-time dual match ledger. On the doubles court, Revzina is 97-23 all-time, while Boonstra is 73-20. Revzina’s combined 192 singles and doubles victories is 17th all-time in Gator history.
NCAA Championships Information
What: NCAA Semifinals: #3 Florida (28-2) vs. #2 North Carolina (30-4)
When: Monday, May 24, 2010 - 1 p.m. ET
Where: Athens, Ga. - University of Georgia is host
Facility: Dan Magill Tennis Complex
Press Box Phone: 706-227-7201
Web Site (live scoring): www.GeorgiaDogs.com & NCAA.com
Web Site (live VIDEO): www.GeorgiaDogs.com & NCAA.com
Television Coverage: Team Finals only - LIVE on ESPNU, 2 PM ... tape delay on ESPN2 at 10:30 pm
Post-Match Feed: none provided by NCAA