Thursday May 19, 2011Women's Tennis Meets Clemson in NCAA Round of 16 on Friday
The University of Florida women’s tennis team plays Clemson in the NCAA Championships Round of 16 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. ET (Noon PT).
Florida (27-1) received the No. 2 overall seed in the 2011 NCAA Championships and is making its 28th appearance in the round of 16 in the 30-year history of the event.
The Gators defeated South Carolina State, 4-0, and South Carolina, 4-0, to advance to Stanford, Calif., for the round of 16 and the remainder of the tournament. The team round of 16 through the final, as well as the 64-player singles draw and the 32-team doubles draw will be played the Taube (pronounced TOE-bee) Family Tennis Center on the campus of Stanford University.
Clemson (21-10) defeated Wichita State, 4-0, and Arkansas, 4-2, to reach the round of 16 for the fifth consecutive season.
Friday will be the second meeting this year between Florida and 15th-seeded Clemson. The Gators claimed the tight 4-0 decision against the Tigers in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 19. Florida is 20-0 all-time against Clemson, but Friday will be the first-ever NCAA match-up.
“We are facing a Clemson team that we played during the National Team Indoors, but we’ll have different lineups at the numbers 3 through six singles positions, as well as all three doubles spots,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “I’m happy about that because they hung in there with us at the Indoors at a couple of spots. We’ll see some different pairings and hopefully that will be to our advantage.
“Overall, we’re playing good doubles. We’re fit and we’re anxious to play to good tennis.
“Our one doubles team of Alex Cercone and Allie Will, even thou they aren’t finishing because our two and three doubles teams are getting off the court quickly, is quietly playing really well. What I like about them is that they have good communication between points during the course of a change-over where they themselves dissect plays and can detect trends and come up with strategic changes if they have to,” Thornqvist continued.
“They will be greatly challenged by Clemson’s number one doubles team, which I think could be the best team in the country. We played outstanding when we beat them with a different team in the National Indoor Championships in November. We certainly will be challenged there,” Thornqvist noted.
Florida at the NCAA Championships
*Florida is making its 29th appearance in the 30-year history of the NCAA Championships, missing only the 1986 event.
*The Gators boast an 84-24 all-time record in the NCAA Championships.
*The Gators won NCAA team titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003
*Florida has advanced to at least the NCAA Semifinals 20 times in the last 24 years - including in 2010
*Since the NCAA expanded the field to 64 teams, Florida has been a perfect 13-0 in first-round matches. The Gators are 12-1 in the round of 32, 24-3 in round of 16 contests, 20-4 in the quarterfinals, 11-9 in the semifinals and 4-7 in the title match.
Cercone and Will first paired together for the March 1st dual match against Florida State and have been a tandem since, compiling an 11-0 record, with all matches coming at the number one position.
They’ll face stiff competition from Clemson’s duo of Josipa Bek and Keri Wong, who are the sixth-ranked team in the country. Florida’s Sofie Oyen and Will became the third Gator pair to win the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships doubles title, as they won a hard-fought three-setter on November 7th at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., defeating Bek and Wong, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Clemson is 15-0 this year when winning the doubles point, while Florida is 26-0.
Will also plays the number one singles position for the Gators, where she is 17-1 this season and carries a 13-match winning streak into Friday’s contest against Bek.
Sophomore Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) has won all 21 singles matches she has played this season, a run tied for the 10th-longest in program history. Embree, who is the ITA Southeast Region Player to Watch winner, secures the number two singles and doubles spots in UF’s lineup.
Junior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.), the only upperclassman in the Gator’s lineup, has won a combined 148 singles and doubles matches during her collegiate career, with a 28-7 record in singles and doubles this season.
All three Florida freshmen sport a double-figure singles win streak into the NCAA Round of 16, with Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) holding a 17-match run, while Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) and Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) has won 10 straight, respectively.
NCAA Team Championship Information
What: NCAA TEAM Championships Round of 16 – Final
Where: Stanford, Calif. - Stanford University is host
Facility: Taube Tennis Center (3,500)
Official Tournament Website: http://www.gostanford.com/ot/2011-ncaa-tennis-tournamentcent
When (Women): May 20, 22-24
NCAA ROUND OF 16 SCHEDULE:
9 a.m. PT – Taube South - No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Virginia
9 a.m. PT – Taube Stadium - No. 3 Duke vs. No. 14 Georgia Tech
12 p.m. PT – Taube South - No. 7 Miami vs. No. 10 Michigan
12 p.m. PT – Taube Stadium - No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 Clemson
3 p.m. PT – Taube South - No. 5 Baylor vs. SMU
3 p.m. PT – Taube Stadium - No. 4 North Carolina vs. Vanderbilt
6 p.m. PT – Taube South - No. 8 Georgia vs. No. 9 California
6 p.m. PT – Taube Stadium - No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 Northwestern
Web Site (live scoring): http://www.streamingtennis.com/Cardinal/livescoreboard1.html
Web Site (live VIDEO): http://www.streamingtennis.com/Cardinal/livescoreboard1.html
Television Coverage: TEAM FINAL only, LIVE on ESPNU May 24; tape delay on ESPN2, May 26 at 6:30 pm ET
Post-Match Feed: TBA
Ticket Info: ALL SESSIONS PASSES: Best Available $75-$150 ... Reserved $150 ... Gen Adm $75-100
SINGLE DAY PASSES: Reserved $20 ... Adult Gen Adm $12 ...Student/Youth/Sr Gen Adm $8