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Alexandra Cercone and the Gators aim for their 20th win of the season.

Thursday April 17, 2014Gators Launch SEC Tournament Title Defense Friday

Columbia, MO

Alexandra Cercone and the Gators aim for their 20th win of the season.

UPDATED: The Gators are the four-time defending Southeastern Conference Tournament champions and begin their title defense Friday at the Mizzou Tennis Complex where first serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT).

 

This year’s road simply to the semifinals is as tough as it’s ever been, as Florida (19-4) will play No. 5 seed and No. 8-ranked Texas A&M (18-5). The Aggies defeated host and No. 13 seed Missouri, 4-0, on Thursday in the second round.

 

Four SEC teams are ranked among the top eight in the country, with Vanderbilt checking in at No. 11 nationally.

 

Florida at the SEC Tournament

·         The Gators are 69-7 all-time in SEC Tournament matches, with six of those losses coming against Georgia and the other to Ole Miss.

·         Florida is 26-0 in quarterfinal round

·         Florida has won 19 of the 26 SEC Tournament titles.

·         Florida is the four-time defending SEC Tournament champion.

·         The Gators have advanced to the final of the SEC Tournament 24 times in the 26-year history of the event.

 

Florida with the No. 4 seed

·         The Gators finished in a three-way tie for second in the final Southeastern Conference regular-season standing and will be the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament based on the tiebreak procedures.

·         As one of the top four seeds, the Gators earned a two-round bye.

·         Florida has been either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament 23 times in the 27-year history of the event.

·         This is just the second time the Gators are the No. 4 seed (2009); also No. 3 seed twice.

 

Friday’s Match at a Glance

·         Who:  SEC Tournament QF

·         When: Fri, April 18, beginning at 6 p.m. E.T.

·         Where: Mizzou Tennis Complex * Columbia, Mo.

·         Record: Florida 19-4, 11-2 SEC

 

Links of Note

·         Missouri’s Official Tournament Page: http://www.mutigers.com/sports/w-tennis/sectennis/

·         Live VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8enFFaqdyPs9U4rnW_L-R6s9k1lwXyrq

 

VIDEO: Seniors Olivia Janowicz and Sofie Oyen talk about playing in their final SEC Tournament

·         http://youtu.be/-1fyVEwgDQQ

 

 

Quoting UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist:

On a possible quarterfinal bout against Texas A&M:

·         “Texas A&M is a really talented team and I have a lot of respect for their coach, Howard (Joffe). He’s terrific during a match making adjustments. They are good in doubles and we didn’t get to play them during the regular season. Our doubles play is really improved so hopefully, we can match them. Last year, they took in doubles in both meetings. This year, I feel confident that we’re better prepared.”

 

On a possible quarterfinal bout against Missouri:

·         “Missouri has a player back who was out of their lineup for a long portion of the year and her return has definitely made them stronger. Obviously, playing a team on their home courts makes it twice as tricky and we’ve seen that a couple times this year.”

 

General:

·         “This time of year, we focus on the Gators. If we can put all the pieces of the puzzle together, we’re as good as anybody here, especially now that we’re playing better doubles.”

 

On the strength of the SEC, with four teams ranked in the top 8 in the country:

·         “We’re not surprised. We’ve battled these teams every week. What we have is quality student-athletes and very good coaches in the league and it’s starting to show - coaches who care, coaches who know how to recruit and get these talented players to their schools. I like the fact that it’s more of a grind to win these tournaments. You have to play three top-10 teams to win the SEC Tournament. If you can do that, it certainly prepares you for the big dance (NCAAs) later on and this year is no difference. Last year’s NCAA runner-up was Texas A&M and this year they are the No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament. It’s great for the league and it’s great for the Florida Gators to be tested day-in and day-out.”

 

2014 SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament

April 16-20

Mizzou Tennis Complex * Columbia, Mo.

 

Wednesday, April 16

Match 1: No. 11 LSU vs. No. 14 Mississippi State – LSU, 4-3

Match 2: No. 12 Arkansas vs. No. 13 Missouri – Missouri, 4-0               

 

Thursday, April 17

Match 3: No. 7 Auburn vs. No. 10 Kentucky – Kentucky, 4-2

Match 4: No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 11 LSU – LSU, 4-0

Match 5: No. 8 South Carolina vs. No. 9 Ole Miss – South Carolina, 4-2

Match 6: No. 5 Texas A&M vs. No. 13 Missouri – Texas A&M, 4-0

 

Friday, April 18 - Quarterfinals

Match 7: No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 10 Kentucky - 8 a.m. CT

Match 8: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 11 LSU - 11 a.m. CT

Match 9: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 8 South Carolina - 2 p.m. CT

Match 10: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 Texas A&M - 5 p.m. CT

 

Saturday, April 19 - Semifinals

Match 11: Winner Match 7 vs. Winner Match 8 - 10 a.m. CT

Match 12: Winner Match 9 vs. Winner Match 10 - 2 p.m. CT

 

Sunday, April 20 - Final

Match 13: Match 11 Winner vs. Match 12 Winner - 12 p.m. CT

 

All times CENTRAL and subject to change.

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: @GatorZoneTennis  and  @GatorZoneNews

Facebook: FloridaGatorTennis

 

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