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Sofie Oyen (left), Belinda Woolcock and the Gators welcome College MatchDay to Gainesville.

Thursday February 27, 2014Gators Host No. 9 Texas A&M and USTA College MatchDay Friday

Gainesville, Fla.

Sofie Oyen (left), Belinda Woolcock and the Gators welcome College MatchDay to Gainesville.

Less than a week after a humbling loss at Stanford, Florida returns to the court and plays its second consecutive top-10 ranked opponent in welcoming No. 9 Texas A&M to the Ring Tennis Complex on Friday, with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

 

The match will be the Southeastern Conference opener for both squads, who shared the league’s regular-season title last year with Georgia in the first three-way tie on SEC history.

 

Additionally, the USTA has selected Friday’s battle as one of its 10 national College MatchDay events, similar to ESPN’s College Game Day for football.

 

Match at a Glance

No. 9 Texas A&M (6-2, 0-0 SEC) at No. 5 Florida (8-2, 0-0 SEC)

Ring Tennis Complex, Gainesville, Fla.

Fri., Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. ET

 

·         TV/Video: LIVE on ESPN3, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox, Apple TV and Roku with Kevin Corke and Mark Bey

·         Admission: FREE

·         Parking: FREE in the UF Law School parking lot

 

VIDEO PREVIEW: UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist - http://bit.ly/1hzUEmd

 

The Series: Florida vs. Texas A&M

·         Overall Series Record: tied 1-1

·         Background: the teams met for the first time last year, with the Aggies claiming the 4-3 regular season decision in College Station and the Gators earning the 4-1 in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

·         The Aggies reached the finals of the 2013 NCAA Team Championships, falling to Stanford, 4-3

 

USTA College MatchDay is Here!

·         The battle between the Gators and Aggies is one of 10 matches in the country selected as part of the USTA’s College MatchDay series.

·         The College MatchDay Fan Experience will be setup on the Springs Lawn where there will be giveaways, a special appearance by a Gator great, interactive games and more.

·         The first 350 fans will receive a “It’s Great to be a Florida Gator” tumbler.

·         A Kids Korner will be set up for poster making and face painting and all will get a chance to meet Alberta, the Gator cheerleads and dazzlers.

 

FLASHBACK: SEC Regular-Season Streak ENDED!

·         Florida had won 37 consecutive regular-season SEC matches until Texas A&M halted the streak with a 4-3 decision on March 3, 2013, in College Station, Texas.

·         That loss also ended the Gator’s overall win streak against league foes at 45.

 

2013 Featured Tri-Champs

·         Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M each finished with 12-1 SEC records and shared the league’s regular-season title.

 

Impressive!

·         Florida sports an impressive 185-1 all-time home record against SEC opponents (includes all meetings).

 

Florida vs. SEC Teams

·         Florida is an incredible 414-26 all-time against the SEC, including a 349-17 record in regular-season matches (12-1 in 2012-13).

 

125 and Counting

·         Florida is 4-0 at home this season and has extended its overall program-record home winning streak of 125, which includes 21 wins in postseason play (SEC and NCAA Tournament).

·         The streak is the longest active home win streak of any NCAA Division I women’s team, in any sport

·         The streak is the second-longest active home win streak on any NCAA Division I team, trailing only the run by the Ohio State men’s tennis team

·         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.

 

128 and Counting

·         Florida (4-0 at home this season) has won 128 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.

 

Home-Sweet-Home

·         Florida boasts a remarkable 460-25 all-time home record when playing in Gainesville, including a 4-0 record this season.

 

Singles Rankings Galore!

Gators in the ITA National Singles Rankings:

·         Olivia Janowicz – No. 7

·         Brianna Morgan – No. 24

·         Alexandra Cercone – No. 27

·         Sofie Oyen – No. 34

·         Kourtney Keegan – No. 45

·         Belinda Woolcock – No. 76

Aggies in the ITA National Singles Rankings:

·         Cristina Stancu – No. 15

·         Saska Gavrilovska – No. 57

·         Anna Mamalat – No. 118

                                     

Quoting UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist:

On changing the lineup or anything from the previous match before playing Texas A&M:

·         “Brilliant scheduling – so we get beat 7-0 and we take a redeye home. We’re going to take Monday and Tuesday off. It will be the first time we’ve taken back-to-back days off since we arrived in January so we really need that. I’m not so sure the challenge was the forehands and backhands as much as it was other things. Taking a few days off really won’t affect how we’ll play on Friday.”

 

On Texas A&M:

·         “Texas A&M is really good. They have some players at certain spots that can give us trouble. We need to make sure that we’re hungry and okay upstairs to compete. We need to play the kind of tennis that we haven’t seen so far in the season. We’ve seen a lot of big ball-striking teams, Stanford is a team that will certainly get after you on every court. Texas A&M is a roll and run team. We have to do more of that on Wednesday and Thursday, but as far as the actual playing part, we’ve got all that covered.”

 

On the difference between this year’s and last year’s Texas A&M team:

·         “It is a little bit difference. They lost a player at one who was world-class. We did, too, so we feel the same sort of pain there that they do. The rest is about the same so it’s a high quality team, a top-10 team. They beat North Carolina at North Carolina. They just beat Baylor. We’re fairly familiar with them because we saw some of them in the Fall. They beat us last year and as a first-year SEC team that’s hard to do. They have an excellent coach who prepares them very, very well. I’m sure they are rocking into Gainesville thinking they are going to beat us.”

 

 

For all of the latest information on Florida women’s tennis:

Official Website: http://www.gatorzone.com/tennis/women/

Twitter: @GatorZoneTennis

FACEBOOK: FloridaGatorTennis

 

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