The University of Florida women’s tennis team won all ten matches on day one of the 2011 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Championships at the Ring Tennis Complex.
“I thought we played very, very well today,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “I was particularly pleased with our doubles. Our second-round doubles matches were considerably better than our early-morning matches. We were more comfortable together as a team and made great offensive decisions. Overall, I was very pleased. We need to play a lot of matches, and this was a great first day for us.”
The Gators’ fifth-ranked Lauren Embree went 6-0, 6-4 against Georgia State’s Masa Grgan. Joanna Mather defeated Grgan’s teammate Kir Kemp, 6-2, 6-1 to move to the next round.
UF sophmores Alex Cercone, Olivia Janowicz and Sofie Oyen won straight-set matches. Cercone defeated UCF’s Alexis Rodriguez, 6-4, 6-1. Janowicz picked up a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Georgia Tech’s Jasmine Minor. Oyen triumphed over FAMU’s Bethany Holt, 6-1, 6-1.
Junior Caroline Hitimana triumphed over Miami’s Melissa Bolivar, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3) in a three-hour match, ensuring the Gators perfect record in singles play.
“The third set went a little better than the other two,” Hitimana said. “I just kept fighting and tried to hang in there. I committed less mistakes, and I served a little better. I really tried to be strong and tough.”
On the doubles side, the duo of Hitimana and Janowicz had an 8-1 victory over FAMU’s Kathline Durden and Bethany Holt. They then defeated FIU’s Lisa Johnson and Christine Seredni 8-4. Cercone and Oyen also advanced to the quarterfinals after winning over Kennesaw State’s Alexandra Apostu and Vera Shkundina 8-2. Later, they beat Jacksonville’s Marques Melibeu and Aline Staudt 8-2.
The Gators will return to the court Saturday starting at 9 a.m with doubles play. Rounds of 32 singles begin at 10:30, and consolation singles are at 2:30. Admission is free.
The 2011 USTA/ITA Southeast Regional Women’s Tennis Championships
Ring Tennis Complex, Gainesville, Fla.
Friday, Oct. 21
Singles, First Round (round of 64)
(5) Lauren Embree, UF d. Masa Grgan, GST, 6-0, 6-4
(34) Alex Cercone, UF d. Alexis Rodriguez, UCF, 6-4, 6-1
(85) Caroline Hitimana, UF d. Melissa Bolivar, UM, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1(3)
(37) Olivia Janowicz, UF d. Jasmine Minor, GT, 6-1, 6-1
(73) Sofie Oyen, UF d. Bethany Holt, FAMU, 6-1, 6-1
(26) Joanna Mather, UF d. Kir Kemp, GST, 6-2, 6-1
Doubles, First Round (round of 32)
Olivia Janowicz/Caroline Hitimana, UF d. Kathline Durden/Bethany Holt, FAMU, 8-1
Alex Cercone/Sofie Oyen, UF d. Alexandra Apostu/Vera Shkundina, KSU, 8-2
Doubles, Second Round (round of 16)
Olivia Janowicz/Caroline Hitimana, UF d. Lisa Johnson/Christine Seredni, FIU, 8-4
Alex Cercone/Sofie Oyen, UF d. Natalia Marques Melibeu/Aline Staudt, JU, 8-2
Southeast Region School Codes:
GST= Georgia State
UCF= Central Florida
GT= Georgia Tech
FAMU= Florida A&M
KSU= Kennesaw State
JU= Jacksonville State
Gator Country reporter Sara Ladwig can be reached at email@example.com