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Lauren Embree and Allie Will took time our for a TV interview Thursday.

Thursday April 21, 2011Top-Seed Women's Tennis Plays South Carolina in SEC Quarterfinals

Knoxville, TN

Lauren Embree and Allie Will took time our for a TV interview Thursday.

Thanks to securing a first-round bye in the 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament, the top-seeded Florida women’s tennis team was able to watch and wait and learn that it will play South Carolina in the quarterfinals on Friday at the UT Varsity Courts beginning at noon.

 

The Gamecocks (15-7) needed nearly five hours to earn a 4-3 decision against Ole Miss in the opening round on Thursday afternoon.

 

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Friday will be the second time in six days the Gators (22-1) and Gamecocks will meet. Florida is 35-2 all-time against South Carolina, including the 7-0 sweep on April 16 in the regular-season finale for both clubs. The teams squared off twice last year, including the Gator’s 4-0 win in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. The Gator’s last lost to the Gamecocks was a 5-4 decision on May 16, 1982 in the NCAA round of 16.

 

“We did play them last week but we have completely differently lineups for Friday. That will be good for both teams,” said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist, who has guided the Gators to six SEC Tournament titles in his previous nine appearances. “It will get our attention and certainly South Carolina has all the incentives to play hard.

 

“Watching South Carolina play today, I was very impressed with their doubles. They were much better today than they where when we played them last week,” Thornqvist continued. “They were very resilient in singles, too. They were dominant in the first hour and half in singles against Ole Miss. They fell asleep a little then, but came through in the end. We’ll have to be ready.”

 

Florida, which won the SEC regular-season title outright, has won 12 consecutive matches entering Friday’s match against ninth-seeded South Carolina.

 

The Gators have won 16 of the 23 SEC Tournament titles (1982, ’90, ’91, ’92, ’93, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’00, ’02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05 , ‘06 & 10). Georgia has claimed six crowns (1983, ‘94, 2001 & ’07, ‘08, ‘09), while Ole Miss captured the 1999 tournament.

 

Florida boasts a 60-7 all-time record in SEC Tournament action, with six of those losses coming against Georgia and the other to Ole Miss. The Gators also sport an impressive 23-0 all-time record in the quarterfinal round.

 

“We’ve done everything we can to get ready for this tournament,” Thornqvist said. “We’re fit, healthy and playing well. We kept practice short this week to get our appetite back up so I think we’re ready to play.”

 

Individually, sophomore Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) has won 18 consecutive singles matches entering Friday’s match, while freshman Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) has strung together 14 straight singles victories and fellow rookie Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) has won 10 in a row.

 

On the doubles court, the active team of Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) and Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) has won eight straight matches, having yet to lose a match since being paired.

 

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