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Joanna Mather advanced to the second round.

Thursday May 26, 2011Women's Tennis Trio Advances in NCAA Singles Championship

Stanford, CA

Joanna Mather advanced to the second round.

Less than 24 hours after winning an improbable and exhilarating national team championship, five members of the University of Florida women’s tennis team returned to the Taube (pronounced TOE-bee) Family Tennis Center for the start of the NCAA Singles Championships.


Competing for Florida was freshman Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.), sophomore Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), freshman Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.), junior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) and sophomore Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.), who is the No. 6 overall seed in the event.


Mather, Will and Embree each won their respective matches and advanced to the round of 32, while Cercone and Janowicz had their respective rookie campaigns on the singles court come to a close.


Mather, ranked No. 42, defeated Marshall’s 52nd-ranked Michaela Kissell, 6-2, 6-1, in her first-ever appearance in the NCAA Singles Draw. The Gator junior improved to 30-8 in singles action this year, becoming the fourth different member of the team to eclipse the 30-win plateau for the year.


Mather next takes on top-ranked and No. 1-seeded Jana Juricova from California on Thursday in the second round.


“I am excited to be I the singles draw for the first time in my career,” Mather said. “I feel like I played pretty well today. It was good to be back out there after I lost my singles match (Tuesday) and feel the ball as well as I did.”


Will, the No. 6 seed in the event and seventh-ranked player in the country, improved to 34-4 this season on the singles court, with an astounding 82-9 career record, after her 6-3, 6-0 victory against Virginia’s 60th-ranked Emily Fraser.


Will’s second round opponent is a familiar one in Ole Miss’34th-ranked Kristi Boxx.


Will also be in action on the doubles court, where she and Cercone are the No. 2-seed in the NCAA Doubles field and drew Virginia’s 32nd-ranked Hardenbergh and Erin Vierra in the first round.


“I played very aggressive today and had a lot of fun today,” Will said. That’s why I was successful. I’m looking forward to another match tomorrow, as well as playing doubles with Alex.”


Cercone lost a 6-2, 7-6 decision to Virginia’s 27th-ranked Lindsey Hardenbergh in the first round. The 54th-ranked Gator rookie had won 14 consecutive singles matches and caps a highly successful singles season with a 37-11 record.


The 53rd-ranked Janowciz lost a 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 match to Arizona State’s 12th-ranked Jacqueline Cako. Janowicz, who like Cercone posted a three-set singles win during Tuesday’s team championship, ends her inaugural collegiate season with a 34-8 singles record.


Embree, who earned her second straight berth into the NCAA Singles Championships, extended her perfect singles record to 25-0, as the 17th-ranked Embree knocked out of the tournament Miami’s sixth-ranked Bianca Eichkorn, 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round.


There was only one break in the second set and it belonged to Embree in the seventh game. From there both competitors held as the Gator sophomore and hero of Tuesday’s NCAA Team title match, served out for the victory.


Embree will play the winner of the first-round match between Florida State’s 31st-ranked Katie Rybakov and UCLA’s 41st-ranked Noelle Hickey.


NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles & Doubles Championships

Taube Family Tennis Center * Stanford, Calif.

Singles, May 25-30

Doubles, May 26-30


Singles, First Round Results (UF only) – completed matches

No. 42 Joanna Mather, UF d. No. 52 Michaela Kissell, Marshall, 6-2, 6-1

No. 7 Allie Will, UF d. No. 60 Emily Fraser, Virginia, 6-3, 6-0

No. 12 Jacqueline Cako, Arizona State d. No. 53 Olivia Janowicz, UF, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0

No. 27 Lindsey Hardenbergh, Virginia d. No. 54 Alex Cercone, UF, 6-2, 7-6

No. 17 Lauren Embree, UF d. No. 6 Bianca Eichkorn, Miami, 7-5, 6-4


Doubles, First Round (UF only) – begins May 26

No. 2 Alex Cercone/Allie Will, UF vs. No. 32 Lindsey Hardenbergh/Erin Vierra, Virginia


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