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Women's Tennis2006 Southeastern Conference
Women's Tennis Tournament

Host of the 2006 SEC Women's
Tennis Tournament
April 20-23, 2006
Ring Tennis Complex * Gainesville, Fla.
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TEAM-A

No. 1 Florida 4, No. 3 Kentucky 0

 

Recap

The University of Florida women’s tennis team blanked Kentucky 4-0 in the championship match of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

The Gators (21-1) captured their fifth consecutive and 15th overall SEC Tournament title in the 19-year history of the event, as Florida earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. The Gators, who capped the SEC Tournament title by winning their 15th consecutive match, will learn their NCAA first round opponent on May 3rd when ESPNews announces the field of 64 teams.

 

“This never gets old. Winning a tournament is special,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “You have 12 teams here and we came out on top. I don’t care who you play. We beat who was in front of us. This team certainly dominated this weekend and I’m really proud of them.”

 

Of Florida’s 15 SEC Tournament titles, Sunday’s was the first time the Gators swept through the competition without losing a team point.

 

“We weren’t as sharp as we could have been in the beginning of the year, but we’ve all been around the block enough to know that you don’t win championships in January or February – you win them in April and May,” Thornqvist said. “This team has worked all year long to be the best now. Right now, we’re playing about as well as we can.”

 

The Gators showed tremendous improvements even since their 6-1 regular season victory over the Wildcats on April 9, when Kentucky (17-9) swept all three doubles matches to earn the first team point of the match. On Sunday, Florida roared out with convincing play in doubles, winning the first doubles match with an 8-2 decision on court No. 1 where Whitney Benik and Alexis Gordon topped Kim Coventry and Carolina Escamilla. UF’s No. 3 pair of Keri Robison and Nina Suvak then collected their third victory of the SEC Tournament by downing Danielle Petrisko and Carolina Winebrenner 8-2.

 

Florida did a great job in doubles by coming out stronger,” Kentucky coach Carlos Drada said. “I knew it was going to be a big factor for the match and it was. After doubles, Florida is a really tough situation to go against.”

 

Florida carried its momentum onto the singles courts, jumping out to first-set victories on five of the six courts, with the remaining match a battle that eventually was abandoned during the opening set tiebreaker where UF’s Boglarka Berecz held a 5-2 lead.

 

Senior Alexis Gordon was the first Gator off the singles court, defeating Kim Coventry 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 1 position. Gordon opened the match with a break and held at love to set the tone. Coventry stormed back by holding and then earning a break of her own to even the score at 2-all. But Gordon broke right back and again in the seventh game before serving out for the set. She opened the second the same way she started the match. Coventry then held in the third game, but that was all she would manage, as Gordon won the remaining four games, losing just one point in the final two games to give the Gators a 2-0 lead.

 

“Our focus this week was to go into every match and play to the best of our ability, to fight out every single point and if it turned into a win, then so be it,” Gordon said. “The number one thing on our minds, though, was to play tough.”

 

Moments later, junior Nina Suvak came up with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Carolina Escamilla on court No. 5, placing the Gators one win from the team title. Suvak earned an early break in the first set and road that into the sixth game where she held at love and produced another break before serving out for the opening set. She began the second with a pair of breaks en route to a 4-0 which held up as the rest of the set was played on-serve, with Suvak serving out for the win and collecting her team-high 14th consecutive singles victory.

 

One minute after Suvak’s victory, sophomore Diana Srebrovic, who was named the SEC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, provided the clinching win with a 6-3, 6-1 decision against Laura Maurer at the No. 2 position. The first set was on-serve entering the eighth game, where Srebrovic broke through and served out to take a tight opening set. Maurer held to begin the second, but Srebrovic held and broke Maurer at love and carried that momentum through the rest of the set, clinching the victory. Srebrovic capped the day with her third straight singles win the SEC Tournament, also collecting a pair of doubles wins with Lolita Frangulyan en route to being recognized as the SEC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer.

 

SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament Final

Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Fla.

 

Sunday, April 23, 2006

 

Final Score: No. 1 Florida 4, No. 3 Kentucky 0


Doubles
No. 1 #41 Benik/Gordon, UF, def. #35 Coventry/Escamilla, UK, 8-2 (0:41)

No. 2 Frangulyan/Srebrovic, UF, vs. #45 Schwenk/Maurer, UK, 5-4, suspended

No. 3 Robison/Suvak, UF, def. Petrisko/Winebrenner, UK, 8-2 (0:50)*


Singles
No. 1 #14 Alexis Gordon, UF, def. #46 Kim Coventry, UK, 6-2, 6-1 (1:14)

No. 2 #5 Diana Srebrovic, UF, def. Lara Maurer, UK, 6-3, 6-1 (1:14)*

No. 3 #124 Whitney Benik, UF, vs. Joelle Schwenk, UK, 6-3, 3-3, suspended 

No. 4 #50 Boglarka Berecz, UF, vs. Danielle Petrisko, UK, 6-6 (5-2), suspended

No. 5 Nina Suvak, UF, def. Carolina Escamilla, UK, 6-2, 6-2 (1:15)

No. 6 Alex Lies, UF, vs. Jessica Giuggioli, UK, 6-3, 34, suspended

 
Order of finish: Doubles- 1, 3; Singles-1, 5, 2

 

 

Quotes

 

Florida

Head Coach Roland Thornqvist

“What was important for us going into the weekend was that we establish a championship style of play. I was really happy, particularly with our doubles play. To lose all three doubles against Kentucky a week ago and come out and really dominate today was a good step in the right direction heading into NCAAs. We laid a good foundation today going into NCAAs.”

 

“We weren’t as sharp as we could have been in the beginning of the year, but we’ve all been around the block enough to know that you don’t win championships in January or February – you win them in April and May. This team has worked all year long to be the best now. Right now, we’re playing about as well as we can.”

 

“This never gets old. Winning a tournament is special. You have 12 teams here and we came out on top. I don’t care who you play. We beat who was in front of us. This team certainly dominated this weekend and I’m really proud of them.”

 

“This team is all about toughness. One through eight – these athletes will play on broken legs if it helps the team. That’s why I really admire them. It’s a special group.”

 

“It’s awesome coaching this team – not only because we’re winning, but it’s fun to go to work every day because they want to play and they want to learn new things. It’s just a good group. Winning is fun and all, but to me, the journey to get here is the most rewarding. It’s been about as fun as any year in coaching for me. It’s been a group that’s receptive day in and day out and that’s all you can ask.”

 

“It’s like (UF men’s basketball coach) Billy Donovan said – his year was complete before that tournament started because it was just fun to be around the team and see how everybody developed individually throughout the year. It’s been a great group to work with.”

 

Alexis Gordon, Senior

“I feel that we are the same team right now as the one that won the NCAA Championship a few years ago. We all work hard, we’re working for one thing - one common goal, and we’re all working together. I really feel like I’m back on that team again.”

 

“Having a bigger role on the team this time around does not make the tournaments any different for me. This time around I’m a senior so there is more of a sense of urgency for me, but other than that not much has changed since I’ve moved into a different role.”

 

“Our focus this week was to go into every match and play to the best of our ability, to fight out every single point and if it turned into a win, then so be it. The number one thing on our minds, though, was to play tough.”

 

“I was just focusing on my play, getting it done and getting off the court quick. I know Kentucky did have a more sporadic schedule with their matches than we did, and maybe that did affect their play somewhat. But that was not on my mind. I was going in thinking about my game.”

 

Diana Srebrovic, Sophomore

“I am really excited, and even more excited that we have a great team. We have an amazing chance of winning it all this year. It would be great to go there (NCAA Tournament) and be a champion the first time I ever play in the tournament. So, I am really excited.”

 

Kentucky

Head Coach Carlos Drada

“I just want to thank the University of Florida for putting on a great tournament and the SEC for organizing it. It’s always an advantage to play a tough opponent before and getting a chance to see their tendencies and weakness. Florida did a great job in doubles by coming out stronger. I knew it was going to be a big factor for the match and it was. After doubles, Florida is a really tough situation to go against.”

 

Joelle Schwenk, Junior

“It (fatigue) was tough, but we just had so much adrenalin and were so ready to play Florida again in that rematch. It probably started kicking in around the second set. Maybe everyone was feeling it, but once adrenalin kicks in you pretty much just play, you don’t feel tired anymore.”

 

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