Florida will kick off the 40th year of women's tennis today with a 3 p.m. match against Troy.
The defending national champion Gators have won 21 consecutive matches entering the 2012 dual match season, tied for the 10th-longest streak in program history. The Gators are 36-3 all-time in season-opening dual matches and have won 27 consecutive season-openers, with the last loss a 7-2 match at Miami on Feb. 1, 1985.
The Gators are coming off one of their strongest fall seasons in years, highlighted by three appearances in finals of the two collegiate grand slam events. Allie Will won the Riviera/ITA All American Singles Championship. Joanna Mather reached the singles final of the USTA-ITA National Indoor Championships, Sofie Oyen and Will played for the Riviera/ITA All American Doubles Championship and Mather and Lauren Embree won the consolation doubles crown at the Riviera/ITA All American Championships.
"We're excited to start over again," said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist, who is entering his 11th season with the Gators. "We've put in a lot of good work. We've been running a lot and working on our foot-work. Fitness-wise, I think we're right where we need to be. Chemistry is really good. We haven't done as much doubles work at this point as we maybe should have and that's something we'll try to address in the next week or 10 days. We're hitting the ball fantastically. Everybody has become a better hitter. I thought we competed very, very well last year as a team. This year it looks like we're a little better hitting and making contact with the ball. We did a lot of drills during the fall to improve our pace of play and judging by the first week of practice in the spring it looks like all that work has paid off."
More from Thornqvist here:
Posted by Antonya English at 10:28:53 am on January 25, 2012