The 22nd-ranked Women of Troy (3-1) will welcome the top-ranked Florida Gator women’s tennis team (2-0) on Friday from Marks Stadium in Los Angeles. On Saturday, the Gators will head to Malibu for a match with Pepperdine University.
Florida is coming off of two weekend wins. They topped DePaul University 6-1 and bested FIU 4-0 for the program’s 1,000th win.
— Gator Women's Tennis (@GatorsWTN) January 29, 2017
On the Right Track
Besides starting the season on a high note, Florida’s sweep of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend booked their ticket to New Haven, Connecticut. That is, they’ll be heading to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships from February 10-13.
Before the ITA Championships, the Gators will have to perform well in road matches against two talented West Coast schools. Florida women’s tennis head coach Roland Thornqvist says both Pepperdine and USC have “rosters filled with former junior champions”.
“We’re going to have our hands full both days.” Thornqvist added. “Overall, right now, I’m pretty pleased where we are. I do think we’re going to continue to play better tennis each week.”
Florida will indeed be facing top talent this weekend. However, the Gators also feature five nationally ranked singles players within the ITA’s top 39 in their own right.
Thornqvist knows how challenging this weekend will be. When asked about the difficulties of traveling before facing top competition, Thornqvist mentioned last season’s trip to California. There, Florida dropped two of their three losses in weekend matches against then top-ranked California and 16th-ranked Stanford.
“We play Friday and Saturday against two really good teams and that’s the best preparation we can get, I think, for the National Indoor Championships.”
Florida will face off against USC at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and travel to Pepperdine for a 3 p.m. showdown on Saturday.