The No. 1 preseason ranked women’s tennis team is launching their 2013 campaign today after coming off back-to-back national championships. The Gators are playing host to South Florida at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex beginning at 3pm today. The team is playing in three matches in five days at home, taking on Central Florida tomorrow and Baylor on Saturday after today’s matchup. Head coach Roland Thornqvist said that this week will be a good measure of where the team is at going into the season.
Florida’s Alexandra Cercone, Danielle Collins, Olivia Janowicz and Brianna Morgan found success in the 11th Annual Freeman Memorial Women’s Tennis Championships at the Fertitta Tennis Complex on the UNLV campus last week. Collins and Morgan are fresh additions to the Gators roster, and Thornqvist believes the freshman are ready for today’s match.
The roster also boasts a pair of seniors, including Lauren Embree, who played a big part in the tennis team’s success in previous years, and Caroline Hitimana. The roster is rounded out with a trio of juniors in Cercone, Janowicz and Sofie Oyen.
Florida is 50-1 all-time against USF, including a 29-0 record at home. The last meeting between the two programs was a 7-0 Gator win on Feb. 7, 2012, in Gainesville. Florida’s only loss in the series was a 5-3 match on April 1, 1986, in Tampa. Since then, the Gators have won 23 consecutive matches against the Bulls. Thornqvist reflected on this year’s South Florida team.
Admission to the match is free and the first 200 fans will receive stress balls. Fans will be able to park in the UF Law School parking lot, located directly next to the Tennis Complex, with parking restrictions lifted for the match. The first match will start at 3 p.m.