May 9, 2009

*Courtesy of Florida Athletics

Gainesville, Fla. - The University of Florida women's team defeated College of Charleston, 4-1, in the first round of the NCAA Division I Championships Saturday afternoon at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.

The Gators, who improved to 11-0 in NCAA Round of 64 matches, earned a rematch against instate rival Florida State in the second round which takes place Sunday at 2 p.m. in Gainesville. The Seminoles (17-7) blanked Auburn, 4-0, in their opening contest. Florida dropped the Feb. 28 regular-season match, 5-2, to Florida State, which captured its first-ever win in the 49-match series history.

"Obviously, they beat us fairly easily two months ago. To be quite honest with you, you can't really compare the two matches in my opinion," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "We are a completely different team now, and I'm sure they are too. No question that they [FSU] are the favorite tomorrow. I think we all know that we have to play well to win, and for us tomorrow is no different than every match we've played all year. If we play well, we have a chance to win. If we don't play well, then we're going to lose. I think we are going to enjoy the challenge of playing them again."

Florida (15-9) battled past an enthusiastic College of Charleston squad that ended its season with a program-record 24 victories against just five losses.

"I thought we played pretty well. We were tested at a few spots, which is nice in the first round. Sometimes it's difficult to complete after being off for a couple weeks," Thornqvist said. "We had a very good practice yesterday, and I thought we played well today. It's warm out, weather is nice and just like the way we want it here. I thought overall today was very, very good."

The Gators captured the doubles point for the 16th time this season, with the Nos. 1 and 2 spots collecting wins to give UF the early 1-0 lead in the team scoring.

With the Cougars in control of the No. 3 position, the Gators buckled down on the top two courts, where the No. 2 tandem of Jessica Alexander and Anastasia Revzina opened with a break of Keely Mulligan, Revzina held in a long second game and UF never looked backed, as Alexander capped the 8-0 victory with an ace.

On the showcase court, Marrit Boonstra and Joanna Mather jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind one break. The teams traded breaks a few games later, before the Gator pair broke Anna Lee Evans in the 10th game and Mather served out for the 8-3 decision to clinch the doubles point.

Florida took that momentum onto the singles courts, where the Gators raced out to win the first set on five of the courts. Boonstra was the first to net an individual victory, as she topped Laura Borza, 6-1, 6-0 in 56 minutes as the Gator junior improved to 20-3 at the No. 1 singles position and gave UF a 2-0 lead. She won 16 of the final 20 points in the victory.

The Cougars got on the board with a win on court No. 6, but Florida answered right back a couple minutes later when Alexander was able to notch a win in her NCAA singles debut, defeating Evans, 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 4 position. The first set featured six service breaks, but the Gator rookie had the final one to take the ninth game and end the frame. Alexander then took her game to another level, powering her way past Evans to post a bagel in the second, losing just four points in the final three games.

Revzina provided the clinching match, as she topped Holly Dowse, 6-1, 6-1 in 68 minutes. Revzina broke Dowse in a long opening game and took a 4-0 lead capped with an ace. Dowse then held, as did Revzina, who again finished her game with an ace before breaking to take the first frame. The Gator junior played a smart second game and held her serve throughout en route to posting her 130th combined singles and doubles win of her career.

UF's Mather and Barbara Pinterova led their respective singles matches and were on-serve midway through the second when play was halted once the Gators secured the team victory.

Saturday's decision also extended UF's program-record home winning streak to 65 matches, with 12 of those coming in postseason play.

NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships - First Round

No. 68 College of Charleston at No. 15 Florida

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex - Gainesville, Fla.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Final Score: Florida 4, College of Charleston 1

1. (18) Marrit Boonstra/Joanna Mather, UF d. Laura Borza/Anna Lee Evans, CC 8-3*
2. (50) Jessica Alexander/Anastasia Revzina, UF d. Keely Mulligan/Kinsey Casey, CC 8-0
3. Holly Dowse/Caroline Newman, CC d. Brooke Allen/Lauren Wolken, UF 8-1

1. (8) Marrit Boonstra, UF d. Laura Borza, CC 6-1, 6-0
2. (40) Anastasia Revzina, UF d. Holly Dowse, CC 6-1, 6-1*
3. Joanna Mather, UF led Caroline Newman, CC 6-2, 4-3 DNF
4. Jessica Alexander, UF d. Anna Lee Evans, CC 6-3, 6-0
5. Barbara Pinterova, UF led Keely Mulligan, CC 6-1, 2-1 DNF
6. Kinsey Casey, CC d. Brooke Allen, UF 6-1, 6-0

Order of Finish
Doubles-3, 2, 1*
Singles-1, 6, 4, 2*

*indicates clinching doubles point and dual match win

Florida: 15-9
College of Charleston: 24-5