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Men's Tennis Headline

Tuesday May 3, 2011Florida 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 13 to 15 at UF's Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.  

 

The Gator men will host two first round matches on Friday, May 13 and a second round contest on Saturday, May 14, while the women will play their first round matches on Saturday and the second round on the Sunday, May 15. The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Stanford, Calif., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond.

 

This season Stanford University plays host to the combined men's and women's tournament from the round of 16 through the final. The men's Round of 16 begins on Thursday, May 19, while women's action gets underway on Friday, May 20.

 

The Gator women, ranked No. 1 in the country with a 25-1 overall record, received the No. 2 seed in the 64-team draw. Florida faces Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion South Carolina State (16-2) for the second consecutive year in its NCAA First Round contest on Sat., May 14 at Noon ET. The other NCAA Women’s First Round match played in Gainesville features 34th-ranked Arizona (15-6) versus 36th-ranked South Carolina (13-10) on Saturday at 9 a.m. The winning teams from those first-round matches meet in the second round on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.

 

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 29th appearance in the 30-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 19 times in the last 23 years.

 

“I thought we received a tough home regional,” UF women’s head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “We’ve played South Carolina twice and both match-ups were very challenging. They gave us a tough time a couple weeks ago during the regular season and SEC Tournament. Arizona has faced stiff competition all season playing in the Pac-10 and South Carolina State has won its conference title the last two years. If we keep practicing like we have, we’ll be ready.”

 

It will be the third-ever meeting between Florida and the South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs, which met in the first round of the 2010 and 2006 NCAA Championship with the Gators taking the 4-0 victory in Gainesville in both. The Gators also are 4-1 all-time against Arizona, with the last meeting a 5-1 UF win in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Championship held in Gainesville. Florida is 37-2 all-time against fellow SEC foe South Carolina, including a 7-0 on April 16 in the regular season and a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament on April 22.

 

The Florida women’s team is one of eight SEC schools in the 2011 field, with Georgia and Tennessee also being chosen to play host to a regional as the No. 8 and No. 13 seeds, respectively. Of the other 15 seeds, the Gators faced eight of them during the regular season, when they played 21 of their 26 matches against other teams that made the NCAA Tournament field of 64 and posted a 20-1 record versus those clubs.

 

The Gator men, ranked No. 8 with an 18-8 overall record, received the No. 7 overall seed and will host, holding the top seed in the Gainesville regional. Florida will play South Carolina State (13-4) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of Nebraska (15-12) and Miami (14-8). 

 

“We’re very excited to host a regional because that’s always one of our goals,” UF men’s head coach Andy Jackson said. “I’m extremely proud of our team for earning the right to host, but playing at home is only an advantage if you make it an advantage by playing well. We saw South Carolina State last year in the first round, and we know they’ll come ready to play. We know any team that wants to come out of this regional has a tough road in front of them, so we’re going to focus on South Carolina State and the challenge they bring.”

 

It is the 21st consecutive year that the UF men's team has received an NCAA Tournament bid. UF has advanced to the Round of 16 on 16 occasions in its previous 20 NCAA appearances, including eight of nine years under Jackson. Dating back to his time at Mississippi State, Jackson’s teams have reached the Round of 16 in 18 of the past 20 years.

 

Florida faces South Carolina State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year on the men’s side. SCSU claimed the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) for the fourth straight year this spring.  Florida holds a 6-2 mark against the Hurricanes under Jackson, including 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators have never faced Nebraska in program history.

 

The Gators are one of four SEC teams to host a regional on the men’s side, joined by sixth-seed Georgia, 10th-seed Kentucky and third-seed Tennessee. Five other conference schools made the field of 64, including Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.

 

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 no later than 6 p.m. ET.

 

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 13 * Men's NCAA First Round

10 a.m.

Nebraska vs. Miami (Fla.)

1 p.m.

Florida vs. South Carolina State

 

Saturday, May 14 * Women's NCAA First Round

9 a.m.

Arizona vs. South Carolina 

12 p.m.

Florida vs. South Carolina State

Saturday, May 14 * Men's NCAA Second Round

3 p.m.

Friday's First Round winners

 

Sunday, May 15 * Women's NCAA Second Round

2 p.m.

Saturday's First Round winners

 

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