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The Gators launch their dual match season on Saturday at home.

Friday January 24, 2014No. 2 Gators Open Season Saturday at Home, Host ITA Kick-Off Weekend

Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators launch their dual match season on Saturday at home.

The second-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team plays host to the 2014 ITA Kick-Off this weekend, when the Gators launch their dual match season on Saturday against Louisville beginning at 10 a.m.


Admission to the Ring Tennis Complex is free.


This Weekend at a Glance:

·         What: UF hosts the ITA Kick Off Weekend opening rounds, Jan. 25-26

·         Details: the ITA Kick Off Weekend is a feeder into the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships held Feb. 7-10. The winner from each second-round match advances to the national tournament held in Charlottesville, Va.

·         When: Sat., January 25, 10 a.m. - UF (0-0) vs. Louisville (0-0); 10 a.m. - Missouri (2-0) vs. Harvard (0-0); Sunday, Jan. 26: Consolation 9 a.m., Championship at 10 a.m.


Meet the 2013-14 Gators:

·         Alexandra Cercone: 5-5, Sr., Seminole, Fla.

·         Olivia Janowicz: 5-6, Sr., Palm Bay, Fla.

·         Kourtney Keegan: 5-11, Fr., Roswell, Ga.

·         Brianna Morgan: 5-8, So., Beverly Hills, Calif.

·         Sofie Oyen: 5-3, Sr., Leopoldsburg, Belgium

·         Stefani Stojic: 5-7, Fr., St. Albans, Victoria, Australia

·         Belinda Woolcock: 5-7, Fr., Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

·         Head Coach: Roland Thornqvist (UNC ’96, 13th year at UF; 18th overall)

·         Associate Head Coach: Dave Balogh (Florida ’96, 14th year at UF)


42nd Season

·         The 2013-14 season will be the 42nd year UF has sponsored a varsity women’s tennis team.

·         The Gators enter the year with an overall program record of 928-132 (87.5%).


Opening Day Success

·         The Gators are 38-3 all-time in season-opening dual matches.

·         UF has won 29 consecutive season-openers, with the last loss a 7-2 setback at Miami on Feb. 1, 1985.


The Series vs. Louisville

·         Saturday will be the first meeting between Florida and Louisville on the tennis courts.


The Series vs. Harvard

·         Florida is 1-0 all-time against Harvard, with the lone meeting an 8-1 decision on May 14, 1987 in the NCAA Championship round of 16 held in Los Angeles.

·         Harvard is coached by former Gator Traci Green, who is in her seventh year with the Crimson


The Series vs. Missouri

·         Florida is 1-0 all-time against Missouri, which made its SEC debut last season.

·         The Gators claimed the 6-1 win on March 1, 2013, in Columbia, Mo., where frigid temperatures moved the match indoors.

·         The Gators and Tigers will play during the SEC regular-season on March 2, 2014, in Gainesville.

·         Missouri also plays host to the 2014 SEC Tournament, April 16-20.


124 and Counting

·         Florida (12-0 at home last season) has won 124 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 streak is the longest active streak by any NCAA Division I women’s team in any sport.

·         The Gators last regular-season setback at Linder Stadium was on April 7, 2002, when Georgia defeated Florida, 4-3.


121 and Counting

·         Florida finished 14-0 at home during the 2012-13 season and extended its overall program-record home winning streak of 121, which includes 21 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 boasts a remarkable 456-25 all-time home record when playing in Gainesville, including a 14-0 record during the 2012-13 season.


Cercone Approaching 100-Win Milestone

·         Senior Alexandra Cercone enters the ITA Kick-Off weekend with 98 career singles wins.

·         She is two singles wins shy of becoming the 26th Gator to reach the 100-win milestone.


Quotes from the Court:

UF head coach Roland Thornqvist on preparing for this weekend’s tournament:

“We had a few players play last weekend in Las Vegas and I thought those three played very well. Alex (Cercone) has played a pro-circuit event, as well. So, four out of the seven have played matches already this spring. I think that’s going to help. It’s always different when you play a team event, there are more nerves involved. This is the weekend when three of our players will put the jersey on for the first time so I’m sure it will be extra special and there will be some nerves involved. Overall, I think we’re excited to play somebody else. We hope to play our best tennis right off the bat here at home.”


Thornqvist on preparing the three freshmen:

“The same way we did in the Fall. We tried to make them hit a lot of balls and tried to pay attention to the little things to get them ready. They’re all going to be nervous and excited, there’s nothing really you can do about that except encourage them and move them along when the ball is in play. It’s natural. Especially for these three; they want to win really badly and they want to play for the Gators really badly. It’s going to be exciting. All three are going to play huge roles; they’re all going to play a lot of matches for us. The two Aussies are going to play for the first time in America here in a team match. So, a lot of firsts for us this year. Obviously, that can be a little challenging, but I’m excited about it. I really like this team.”



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