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Preview: Florida Teams at 2012 College Tennis Championships

May 8, 2012 04:07 PM
NCAA_Tennis_LogoThe University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, and University of North Florida begin competition this weekend at the 2012 NCAA Division I Tennis Championships, with other Florida schools also competing in Div. II, Div. III, NAIA, and NJCAA-level championships. First-round Division I action begins May 11 at all regional sites.
 
In men’s play, the UF Gators are the only Florida host of first-round action. The No. 12-seeded Gators will play the unseeded Navy squad at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville on Friday. FSU, the only other Florida school in the men’s draw, faces fellow unseeded team Boise State at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
 
In women’s play Miami, Florida, UNF, and FSU are competing from Florida in the 64-team Division I draw.
 
The Miami women host UNF at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center in Coral Gables on Friday.
 
"We are excited to be a regional host once again," said Miami Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. "It is definitely an advantage to play at home, but we have to make sure that we take advantage of the opportunity because we know that every team in this tournament has the potential to advance."
 
The defending national champion Florida women will host South Carolina State at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, where the FSU women will also face Washington State.
 
"We’re really excited to host the opening rounds once again," said UF head coach Roland Thornqvist, whose women's team is making its 30th appearance in the 31-year history of the NCAA Championships, missing only the 1986 event. "We play much better at home than anywhere else, but it also gives us one more weekend when our senior Joanna Mather can play in front of our fans."
 
UF has hosted first- and second-round women’s matches every year since the NCAA Women's Championships expanded its field to 64 teams in 1999. The University of Miami women's tennis team hosts an NCAA regional for the 8th straight year. Miami has advanced out of regional play and into the Sweet 16 each of the last six seasons.
 
The UF women are the defending champions, defeating Stanford in last year’s final, and the year before losing to Stanford in the final. It was the fifth national title for the UF women in 2011.
 
A Florida men’s team has never captured the NCAA tennis championship, with runner-up efforts in 1975 (UCLA d. Miami), 1965 (UCLA d. Miami), and 1949 (San Francisco d. Rollins).
 
The University of Florida (women No. 2, men No. 11) is the only Florida school, and one of 16, to place both their men’s and women’s teams in the Top 25 on the Campbell/ITA College Tennis Division I Team Rankings.
 
May 11-12 will be the first and second rounds of Division I championships play, with the third round on May 17, the quarterfinals on May 19, the semifinals on May 21, and the finals on May 22. The latter rounds of this year's team championships will be held in Athens, Ga. from May 17-21.
 
Division II national tennis championships regional play began last week, with the final rounds slated for May 16-19 in Louisville, Ky. The University of West Florida made the men’s field, and started against the University of Nebraska at Kearney. For more info go to:
 
Division III national tennis championships regional play is scheduled for May 10-13 (first three rounds), and the final rounds May 21-23 in Cary, N.C. For more info go to:
 
NAIA national tennis championships kick off on May 15 in Mobile, Ala., where Florida schools Embry-Riddle (men and women) and Warner (men) are in the mix. For more info go to:
 
The NJCAA women’s championships began May 6 and in Tyler, Tx. The men’s championships begin May 14 at sites in Plano and Allen, Tx. For more info go to:
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Live web streaming of various divisional play will be available this year on NCAA.com, for a programming schedule go to: http://news.turner.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=6050.
 
 

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