The Florida women's tennis team is ranked No. 1 in the final regular season ITA Division I Women's Tennis Team Rankings released this week.
The Gators (25-1) re-took the No. 1 position from Stanford (23-0). The two have alternated the No. 1 and No. 2 rankings throughout the year. This is Florida's sixth appearance at the top spot in the 16-week season.
The Florida women will begin play in the NCAA Tournament next week as the No. 2 seed. They are making their 29th appearance in the 30-year history of the NCAA Championships, missing only the 1986 event. The Gators won NCAA team titles in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2003 and have advanced to at least the NCAA Semifinals 19 times in the last 23 years.
Both the UF men's and women's teams were selected as one of 16 hosts of their respective NCAA First and Second Round Championship matches. UF has hosted first and second round matches every year since the NCAA Women's Championships expanded its field to 64 teams in 1999.
The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Stanford, Calif., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond.
The women will play South Carolina State (16-2) for the second consecutive year in its NCAA First Round contest on Sat., May 14 at noon. The other first round match in Gainesville will feature 34th-ranked Arizona (15-6) versus No. 36 South Carolina (13-10) on Saturday at 9 a.m. The winning teams from those first-round matches meet in the second round on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m.
"I thought we received a tough home regional," UF women's head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "We've played South Carolina twice and both match-ups were very challenging. They gave us a tough time a couple weeks ago during the regular season and SEC Tournament. Arizona has faced stiff competition all season playing in the Pac-10 and South Carolina State has won its conference title the last two years. If we keep practicing like we have, we'll be ready."
The Florida men are ranked No. 8 (18-8) and received the No. 7 overall seed. Florida will play South Carolina State (13-4) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of Nebraska (15-12) and Miami (14-8).
Posted by Antonya English at 8:55:59 am on May 04, 2011