The No. 1 Ranked Gator Women’s Tennis Team Ready for the Season

The No. 1 ranked Florida Gators women’s tennis team opens their season this weekend in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Tournament.

The Gators have high hopes for this coming season, and head coach Roland Thornqvist has previewed the team by saying he sees a strong Gators lineup this year. This dynamic lineup leaves the Gators as the preseason number one, and as favorites to win the SEC.

Preseason ranks are great, but this Gator women’s team doesn’t just want to start the season at number one, their goal is to end there. That is a crown the Gators have not been able to bring home since 2012, when they last won the NCAA team championship.

ITA- Kickoff Tournament

The ITA Kickoff Tournament marks the beginning of the Gator women’s tennis season. They will host the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday at 2 p.m.  The other game that day features FIU and USF.  The winners of these respective matchups will square off on Sunday for the ITA Championship.

Coach Thornqist realizes the importance of tournaments like these. These tournaments give the Gators a good opportunity to grow, while also exposing them to good competition from outside of the SEC.

The first opponent for the Gators will indeed be the DePaul Blue Devils. They started their season last weekend with a 7-0 sweep over Valparasio.  The Blue Devils team is highlighted by their no. 87 ranked singles player Yuliya Shupenia.

Faces of the Gators

The Gators have eight girls on the team this year.  A team that includes three seniors, four junior and a freshman.

  • Seniors
    • Kourtney Keegan, Spencer Liang, and Belinda Woolcock
      • Keegan won the national doubles championship with Brooke Austin last year and was the No. 2 ranked doubles player in the nation
      • Liang went undefeated in SEC singles play last year
      • Woolcock finshed last year as a Singles All-American, ranked No. 15 in the Nation
  • Juniors
    • Brooke Austin, Anna Danilina, Josie Kuhlman, Peggy Porter
      • Austin- Won the national doubles championship with Kourtney Keegan last season. No. 4 ranked doubles player in the nation.
      • Danilina- ITA rookie Southeast Redion Rookie of the Year last year. No. 63 ranked singles player and No. 57 ranked doubles player in the nation.
      • Kuhlman-  Finished last season with a 23-10 record in singles play and a 20-3 record in doubles.
      • Porter- 2015 ITA Scholar- Athlete, and had a 13-5 overall doubles record last year.
  • Freshman
    • Ingrid Neel
      • Ingrid is the only new face to the Gator team this year.  Although she is the only underclassman, head coach Roland Thornqvist says she has been very competitive with the older girls.

About Anthony Crum

Telecommunications Social Media and Society Major. Avid sports fan, Scott Hanson has my dream job.

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