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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gator tennis team prepares to defend NCAA tennis title

The two-time defending NCAA women's tennis champion Gators will begin NCAA Tournament play on Saturday, hosing Marist in the first round of the NCAA Championships at the Ring Tennis Complex at 1 p.m. 

The Gators (22-2) won the SEC Tournament and earned the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championships, as well as the No. 1 overall seed in the 64-team event.

“We love playing at home. Obviously, our record shows that,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “It looks like the temperature should be hot and we like it when you have to work points and that tends to work in our favor. We generally have a good crowd and I’m hoping that we can have a large group of fans for the entire weekend.”

Florida is 12-0 at home this season and has extended its overall program-record home winning streak of 119, which includes 19 wins in postseason play (SEC and NCAA Tournament). The last time the Gators loar at home was on May 15, 2004, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Miami, 4-3. That also was the last time Florida was the No. 1 seed.

Marist College (11-7) is the MAAC champion, and has won six consecutive matches. Maris is making its fourth overall NCAA Championships appearance and their first since 2011.

“Marist is coming off a conference championship, just like we are, so they’re entering the NCAA Championships with some confidence,” Thornqvist said.



[Last modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 4:15pm]


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