GAINESVILLE, Fla. * The fourth-seeded University of Florida women’s tennis team showed little signs of a 20-day layoff during its impressive 4-0 victory over Jacksonville University in the first round of the NCAA Championships Saturday morning at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
While the Gators (22-2) showed no signs of rust en route to winning their 41st consecutive home match and improving to 9-0 all-time in NCAA round of 64 matches, the Dolphins (19-4), who were making their first-ever NCAA appearance, appeared a bit overwhelmed from the opening doubles toss.
Florida lost a combined one point in the opening game on all three doubles courts, taking the first win of the dual match with an 8-0 decision at the No. 3 spot, where Megan Alexander and Anastasia Revzina needed just 36 minutes to polish off Fernanda Carrero and Cristina Paiva-Flor. The Gators’ No. 1 duo of Csilla Borsanyi and Diana Srebrovic the provided the clinching doubles-point win with their 8-2 victory over Emese Sulyos and Lena Willi. Florida held double-match point on court No. 2, leading 7-2, when play was abandoned once the Gators secured the doubles point for the 18th time this season.
“I thought our doubles was very good today,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “We had good focus and communication between all three teams. Doubles is always tricky after a long layoff, but I was very pleased today that we were able to play good doubles.”
The Gators advance to the second round where they play South Florida on Sunday at 1 p.m. Florida is 46-1 all-time against USF, including a 25-0 record in matches played in Gainesville. The last meeting between the two programs was a 4-0 win in the second round of last year’s NCAA Championships, which was the first postseason match-up featuring the two schools. The Bulls lone win in the series was a 5-3 decision on April 1, 1986. Since that loss, Florida has won 21 straight against USF.
“As a coach, you’re always concerned about a long layoff,” Thornqvist said. “I was happy that we were able to step up, especially how Anastaisa (Revzina) stepped up in her first set of a tough match. We had to answer the bell a little. All you can try and do is make practice as competitive as possible to prepare for the postseason during a break. I thought we played well today. We are going to have a tough, tough match tomorrow, regardless of who we play.”
In singles action, Florida’s depth proved to be the biggest difference between the two clubs, as the Gators secured the dual-match victory with convincing wins on courts No. 4, 5 and 6, dropping just one total game on the three courts.
Borsanyi posted her first career double-bagel needing just 41 minutes against Fernanda Carrero on court No. 5 to collect the initial singles win of the day.
Whitney Benik then followed with the third double-bagel of her career and her first this season, helping Florida to a 3-0 lead with her victory against Paiva-Flor on court No. 6. The Gator junior won the first three games at love and needed just five points to win the fourth en route to earning her 150th career combined singles and doubles victory.
Senior Nina Suvak provided the finishing touches on Florida’s first-round victory with a 6-0, 6-1 decision over Iva Jaresova at the No. 4 spot. Suvak won the first nine games of the match and had won the first two points of the 10th game, before Jaresova battled back and held serve to prevent the double-bagel.
“I just wanted to get off the court as soon as possible. I was able to get the win and that’s really what counts the most,” Suvak said. “I was mad at myself because I felt like I lost that game, she didn’t win it. All that matters in the end is that we won the match and will get a chance to play again tomorrow.”
Florida had won the first set on the remaining three singles courts when play was halted.
The loss snapped Jacksonville’s 16-match winning streak, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of Dolphin head coach Jarod Camerota.
“This will go down as perhaps the best season that JU men’s or women’s tennis has ever had,” Camerota shared. “It was our first time making the NCAA Tournament, and I’m so proud of the girls. We came into today with a list of six objectives: enjoy the experience, be fired up, value every ball, play in the current point, be positive and keep the play slow. We did a pretty good job with all of them, but sometimes that’s not enough. We played decent today, but you have to play perfect against a team like Florida.”
NCAA Women’s Tennis First Round
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Final Score: Florida 4, Jacksonville 0
No. 1 Csilla Borsanyi/Diana Srebrovic (15), UF def. Emese Sulyos/Lena Willi, JU 8-2*
No. 2 Whitney Benik/Nina Suvak, UF led Iva Jaresova/Tatiana Soldatova, JU – DNF 7-2
No. 3 Megan Alexander/Anastasia Revzina, UF def. Fernanda Carrero/Cristina Paiva-Flor, JU 8-0
No. 1 Diana Srebrovic (23), UF led Emese Sulyos, JU 6-2, 2-0 DNF
No. 2 Megan Alexander (39), UF led Lena Willi, JU 6-3, 1-0 DNF
No. 3 Anastasia Revzina (92), UF led Tatiana Soldatova, JU 7-5 DNF
No. 4 Nina Suvak (122), UF def. Iva Jaresova, JU 6-0, 6-1*
No. 5 Csilla Borsanyi (58), UF def. Fernanda Carrero, JU 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 Whitney Benik, UF def. Cristina Paiva-Flor, JU 6-0, 6-0
*clinching doubles/dual match point
Order of Finish: Doubles 3, 1; Singles 5, 6, 4