Saturday February 25, 2012No. 2 UF Women's Tennis Hosts No. 13 North Carolina Sunday At 11 a.m.
Sophomore Sofie Oyen
Sophomore Sofie Oyen
The second-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team returns to action after a 14-day layoff and plays host to 13th-ranked North Carolina on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex, where admission is free.
The Gators have not played since a 5-2 setback at then-second-ranked Stanford, Florida’s first loss since Feb. 21, 2011. The loss to the Cardinal halted the Gator’s 26-match win streak, a run that was the seventh-longest in program history.
Florida (5-1) now has the challenge of regrouping and playing two home matches against top-20 ranked teams, beginning with the nationally-ranked Tar Heels (7-4).
Florida is 3-0 at home this year and sports an overall program-record home winning streak of 98, which includes 18 wins in postseason play (SEC and NCAA Tournament). The Gators set a new standard with their 6-1 victory over Mississippi State on March 29, 2009, passing the previous record of 60. The last time the Gators fell at home was on May 15, 2004, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Miami (Fla.), 4-3.
Florida also has won 105 consecutive regular-season home matches - not including SEC Tournament or NCAA Championship events. The current streak is the longest of its kind in program history, passing the 71 in a row compiled from 1994-2001. The Gators last regular-season setback at Linder Stadium was on April 7, 2002, when Georgia defeated Florida, 4-3.
The Gators lead the all-time series against the Tar Heels, 10-2, including a 6-0 record in matches played in Gainesville. North Carolina defeated Florida, 4-3, in Chapel Hill on Feb. 8, 2009. UF’s other setback in the series was another 4-3 thriller in Chapel Hill on Feb. 26, 2006. Sunday’s match will mark the ninth consecutive year Florida and UNC have met.
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.