Saturday May 17, 2014Gators Upset Top-Ranked Georgia, Earn Spot in NCAA Final Four
The Gators earned their fifth consecutive NCAA Semifinals appearance.
The top four seeds all were eliminated during Saturday’s NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships quarterfinals action, with the No. 8 Gators earning the biggest victory of the day when they took down top-seeded, No. 1-ranked and host Georgia, 4-1, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Florida played its best doubles matches of the season and needed to against Georgia’s highly-ranked tandems and secured the 1-0 lead entering singles action, where the Bulldogs were fueled by an energetic home crowd and won the first set on four of the six courts.
Georgia claimed the first singles victory on court two and evened the team score, but a minute later UF senior Alexandra Cercone polished off Lily Kimbell, 6-4, 6-2, and gave the Gators a 2-1 lead.
The next match wasn’t decided for another 47 minutes, as the Gators slowly staged their comeback. Senior Sofie Oyen, freshman Belinda Woolcock and freshman Kourtney Keegan each forced a third set on their respective courts, while Brianna Morgan battled SEC Player of the Year and sixth-ranked Lauren Herring, taking the first set by breaking the final game.
Morgan finally earned the biggest win of her young career with the straight-set upset on court one and gave Florida a 3-1 lead.
Oyen was the second of the Gator trio to force a third set and emerged with the clinching heroics, as she posted a 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 upset against No. 20 Maho Kowase in two hours and 22 minutes.
NCAA Semifinals: Monday, May 19 – 1 p.m. ET
· #7 North Carolina (7-seed) vs. #11 Stanford (11-seed)
· #3 UCLA (5-seed) vs. #8 Florida (8-seed)
· This is UF’s fifth consecutive NCAA Semifinals appearance.
· The Gators are making their 24th trip to the NCAA Semifinals in the last 28 years.
Milestone Win for Coach
· Roland Thornqvist captured his 400th career coaching victory today.
· His 18-year head coaching record stands at 400-89.
· Thornqvist’s 13-year record at UF is 325-39.
Oyen in the Clutch:
· Senior Sofie Oyen, ranked No. 70, clinched the Gator victory with her 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 win against No. 20 Maho Kowase.
· She improved to 19-0 in in her career in singles dual-match clinching matches.
· Oyen lost the first set and the second remained on serve until she struck first with a break in the fifth game and held at love for a 4-2 lead. Kowase managed to break back in the eighth game and was serving at 4-all before Oyen returned the favor and served out to force a deciding third.
· Oyen won the first two games before Kowase called for medical attention and was never the same as the veteran Gator polished off the win and sealed Florida’s spot in the NCAA Semifinals.
Brianna’s Big Win
· Sophomore Brianna Morgan defeated sixth-ranked Lauren Herring, 6-4, 7-5, and gave the Gators a 3-1 lead.
· Entering the match, the highest-ranked opponent Morgan had defeated in her career: No. 8 Krista Hardebeck (Stanford), 6-1, 7-5, in the Riviera/ITA All-American Consolation Quarterfinals (Oct. 4, 2013)
· Against Herring, Morgan lost her serve first in the seventh game, but broke right back and held for 5-4, ending the frame with another break for the early lead.
· Morgan dropped her serve to begin the second set but got the frame back on serve by holding in a long deuce game for 3-2.
· Morgan again lost her serve in the seventh game, but came right back and the set was on serve two games later and continued that way until the 12th game, where she broke for the fifth and final time of the match.
Cercone Rolls in NCAA Action
· Senior Alexandra Cercone defeated Lily Kimbell, 6-4, 6-2, and gave the Gators a 2-1 lead.
· Cercone improved to 12-2 in career NCAA singles matches, 2-0 this year.
· Cercone was down an early break in the first set, but held at love in the seventh game and broke to even the set at 4-all. She fought off one break point in the next game to take a 5-4 lead and then capitalized on her first set point.
· She carried that momentum into the second set, where she held at love in her first two service games and got a break for a 3-1 lead. The two traded breaks before Cercone held and captured the victory on her third match-point.
Double the Fun
· The Gators captured the doubles point and improved to 17-0 this season when doing so.
· Olivia Janowicz and Brianna Morgan defeated Lily Kimbell and Caroline Brinson, 8-2, for the first individual win of the match.
· Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock upset #19 Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia, 8-5 to clinch the doubles point.
· Janowicz and Morgan improved to 4-1 as a team, including 3-1 in NCAA action.
· Janowicz and Morgan held serve throughout the 8-game pro-set and never faced a break point.
· The doubles win was Janowicz’s 78th of her career.
· Oyen and Woolcock improved to 14-9 this year, including 10-8 in dual matches.
· Oyen improved to 17-3 in NCAA doubles matches in team play, the second-most wins in Gator history behind Lauren Embree’s 19.
· Oyen and Woolcock took the early lead, up 3-1 before Georgia broke back. The Gators quickly regrouped and broke a love and Oyen lost just one point on her next serve for a 5-2 lead. The teams then exchanged breaks, as UF held a 6-3 lead. UG held three game points, but the Gators knocked each away and took a 7-3 lead. UG bounced back and won eight of the next 11 points and closed to within 7-5. Woolcock, however, served a great final game and held as the Gators secured the doubles point and the important 1-0 team lead.
Elite for 28th Time
· This was UF’s fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals, as well as the 28th trip in the 33-year history of the event.
· The Gators improved to 24-4 all-time in quarterfinal matches.
Gators vs. Georgia
· Florida improved to 45-15 all-time against Georgia, including 3-2 in NCAA matches.
· Georgia won the regular-season meeting between the two teams, a 4-2 decision in Athens played indoors on March 16, 2014.
· The Gators defeated the Bulldogs twice last season, a 4-1 victory at home and the 4-0 victory in the SEC final that clinched the SEC Tournament crown for Florida.
· The teams have split the four-match series in NCAA matches, with two wins apiece.
· The last NCAA meeting was a 4-2 Georgia win in the 2009 Round of 16.
· Other NCAA meetings: 2000 Semifinals (UG 5-2); 1998 Semifinals (UF 5-1); and 1995 Semifinals (UF 5-0).
Florida vs. SEC Teams
· Florida improved to an incredible 427-29 all-time against SEC teams (all meetings, 13-3 this year), including a 360-19 record in regular-season matches (11-2 this year).
· UF’s Three seniors: Alexandra Cercone, Olivia Janowicz and Sofie Oyen
· This is their fourth trip to the NCAA Semifinals in the career.
· NCAA Team Record: 20-1 (second-most wins in program history)
· Team Accomplishments:
o 2011 & 2012 NCAA Champions
o 2011, 2012 & 2013 SEC Regular Season Champions
o 2011, 2012 & 2013 SEC Tournament Champions
Florida Head Coach Roland
On the match…
“I thought we played an absolutely outstanding match. This Georgia team is really good from top to bottom, and all year their doubles have been the best in the country. We challenged our team today to step up and play more aggressive tennis in doubles. And that really set the tone. I thought we were flawless in doubles. This is the best we played all year. We played with no fear and I thought we really went after them more than they did us. When we played here two months ago, the doubles point was over in 10 minutes and we were not going to let that happen today. Credit to these guys. They bought in and were flying left and right. I’m just really, really proud. This win ranks way, way up there.”
On winning the 400th match of his career:
“That’s of less significance,
honestly. The fact that we won and that we get to play on Monday is what we’re
On the play of Sofie Oyen:
“Her play was outstanding. I left in the middle of the second set. I thought that she had found the groove and how to do it. I left to go look at our first-year players and I just saw game after game tick away so obviously she must have done something right.”
On the two freshmen:
“The handled themselves from start to finish, even in doubles, both freshmen were really good. This can be an overwhelming place to play, with the dogs barking and I don’t know how many people were here. You can’t let it get to you and I thought both of them handled themselves great. In singles they both lost first sets and it takes a mighty person against this quality of a Georgia team to force a third set. They are grown up. They aren’t freshmen anymore.”
Florida Sophomore Brianna Morgan
On her singles win vs. No. 6 Lauren Herring:
“It was a really tough match, she’s a great competitor. I was trying to stay focused because there were points in the match where I was down by a couple games. I just tried to stay focused and to the best that I could do to come back and put a point on the board for the team.”
Florida Senior Sofie Oyen
On her clinching singles win vs. No. 20 Maho Kowase:
“She was playing really well first set. Second set my goal was to just stay out there because I knew the other matches were really close. When I won the second set, I just was just not going to lose the third set. I was telling myself to fight for every point. I didn’t make a lot of mistakes.”
On reaching the NCAA Semifinals for the fourth time in her career:
“It feels great, but it’s not over yet. We’re going to battle in the next round.”
Georgia Head Coach Jeff Wallace
On the match…
“We had an amazing crowd come out there and support this team today. We’ve had amazing crowds all year, and we certainly want to thank everybody that came out and cheered us on. They were absolutely fantastic.”
“We’ve got three seniors here that have had amazing careers with Kate, Lilly and Maho. What they’ve done for this program over the past four years has just been remarkable, and I’m super proud of them. This isn’t the way they wanted to go out, but we certainly have to mention how amazing their careers have been.”
“I think our team has had an unbelievable season, being the No. 1 seed, having the best regular season, winning the SEC Tournament. We wanted to do more than the quarterfinals, and that was our goal, but it wasn’t meant today. You have to take your hat off to Florida, they just really played well against us. I think that was the best I’ve seen them play in doubles this year, and unfortunately we didn’t get that doubles point. But we had some good starts in singles and flipped the momentum there for a little while, and then their players really stepped it up and played well to close out some sets and matches.”
NCAA Matches on Away Courts
· UF improved to 3-3 in NCAA matches when playing on a true away court
o 2014 at Georgia in NCAA Semifinal: W, 4-1
o 2011 at Stanford in NCAA Final: W, 4-3
o 2006 at Stanford in Semifinal: L, 4-0
o 2002 at Stanford in Final: L 4-1
o 1997 at Stanford in Final: L 5-1
o 1988 at UCLA in Semifinals: W 5-4
Gators vs. #1-Ranked Teams (10-7 record all time; 3-4 in NCAA matches)
· March 6, 1988: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (National Team Indoor Final) – UF wins 5-4
· March 5, 1989: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (National Team Indoor Final) – UF loses 6-0
· March 31, 1989: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (in Gainesville) – UF loses 5-4
· May 13, 1990: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (NCAA Final in Gainesville) – UF loses 5-1
· March 3, 1991: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (National Team Indoor Final) – UF wins 6-0
· March 24, 1993: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (in Gainesville) – UF wins 5-1
· May 12, 1994: #5 Florida vs. #1 Texas (NCAA Quarterfinals) – UF loses 6-0
· March 27, 1995: #6 Florida vs. #1 Georgia (in Gainesville) – UF wins 6-0
· May 12, 1995: #2 Florida vs. #1 Georgia (SEC Tournament Final in Auburn) – UF wins 5-4
· May 19, 2001: #5 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (NCAA SF in Stone Mountain, Ga.) – UF loses 4-1
· March 26, 2003: #5 Florida vs. #1 Duke (in Gainesville) – UF wins 4-3
· May 18, 2003: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (NCAA Final in Gainesville) – UF wins 4-3
· May 22, 2006: #4 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (NCAA Semifinal in Stanford) – UF loses 4-0
· Feb. 21, 2011: #2 Florida vs. #1 Stanford (National Team Indoor Final) – UF loses 4-2
· May 22, 2012: #2 Florida vs. #1 UCLA (NCAA Final in Athens) – UF wins 4-1
· Feb. 18, 2013: #2 Florida at #1 North Carolina (in Chapel Hill) – UF wins 4-2
· May 17, 2014: #8 Florida at #1 Georgia (NCAA QF in Athens) – UF wins 4-1
WATCH OFFICIAL POSTMATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist, Brianna Morgan and Sofie Oyen
WATCH Match Point:
No. 3 Singles: Sofie Oyen wins the three-setter and clinches the win for the Gators!
No. 1 Singles: Brianna Morgan upsets the nation’s No. 6-ranked player for highest-ranked win of her career
No. 4 Singles: Alexandra Cercone wins 6-4, 6-2 and gives UF a 2-1 lead
No. 3 Doubles: Olivia Janowicz and Brianna Morgan – Gators get the first win of the match
No. 2 Doubles: Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock – Gators win doubles point!
PHOTO GALLERY – SOME SINGLES & CELEBRATION
PHOTO GALLERY – DOUBLES
#8 Seed / #8 Ranked Florida at #1 Seed / #1 Ranked Georgia
NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships Quarterfinals
Dan Magill Tennis Complex * Athens, Georgia
Sat., May 17, 2014
Final Score: Florida 4, Georgia 1
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2*)
1. Alexandra Cercone/Kourtney Keegan, UF vs. #2 Lauren Herring/Maho Kowase, UG, 6-7 on serve DNF
2. #27 Sofie Oyen/Belinda Woolcock, UF d. #19 Kate Fuller/Silvia Garcia, UG, 8-5* [:58]
3. Olivia Janowicz/Brianna Morgan, UF d. Lilly Kimbell/Caroline Brinson, UG, 8-2 [:53]
Singles (order of finish: 2, 4, 1, 3*)
1. #16 Brianna Morgan, UF d. #6 Lauren Herring, UG, 6-4, 7-5 [2:05]
2. #15 Silvia Garcia, UG d. #14 Olivia Janowicz, UF, 6-1, 6-2 [1:17]
3. #70 Sofie Oyen, UF d. #20 Maho Kowase, UG, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0* [2:22]
4. #28 Alexandra Cercone, UF d. #102 Lilly Kimbell, UG, 6-4, 6-2 [1:18]
5. #99 Belinda Woolcock, UF vs. Kate Fuller, UG, 2-6, 7-5, 2-1 DNF
6. #67 Kourtney Keegan, UF vs. Mia King, UG, 3-6, 6-4, 5-3 DNF
Records: Florida 23-5; Georgia 24-5
National ITA Ranking: Florida 8; Georgia 1
NCAA Seed: Florida 8, Georgia 1
*indicates clinching doubles point/dual match win
NCAA Quarterfinals Results, Saturday, May 17
· #7 North Carolina (7) d. #2 Alabama (2 seed), 4-2
· #11 Stanford (11) d. #4 Virginia (3), 4-2
· #8 Florida (8) d. #1 Georgia (1), 4-1
· #3 UCLA (5) d. #5 Duke (4), 4-2
NCAA Women’s Team Championships at a Glance
· What: NCAA TEAM Championships Round of 16 - Final
· When: May 15, 17, 19-20
· Where: Athens, Georgia - Univ. of Georgia is host
· Facility: Dan Magill Tennis Complex (Henry Field Courts and McWhorter Courts)
· Live VIDEO: http://www.ncaa.com/division-i-tennis-championships
· Ticket Info: 12-Day All-Session Tickets: $100 … Daily Tickets: $10 ... Can be purchased on site or through www.Georgiadogs.com
· Official Twitter: @NCAATennis2014
· Twitter Hashtag: #NCAAMWT
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s tennis:
Official Website: http://www.gatorzone.com/tennis/women/
Twitter: @GatorZoneWTN and @RolandTFlorida