Florida Women’s Tennis Ranked No. 2 in ITA Preseason Poll

By: UF Sports Communications
By: UF Sports Communications

Gainesville, FL - On the strength of an outstanding 2010 individual
fall season and last year’s NCAA runner-up showing, the University of
Florida women’s tennis team earned the No. 2 ranking in
Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Preseason Poll.

Highlighting a total of seven individual rankings that also were
released this week is the No. 1 doubles ranking of the young Gator pair
of freshman Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) and sophomore Allie Will
(Boca Raton, Fla.).

Will ranked No. 7 in the singles chart that featured five Gators,
followed by freshman Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) at No. 22,
freshman Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) at No. 28, junior Joanna Mather
(Duluth, Ga.) at No. 30 and Oyen at No. 96.

Mather and sophomore Caroline Hitimana (Waterloo, Belgium) ranked No.
56 on the doubles list.

Sophomore Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), who played the No. 1
singles position for the Gators last year and was recognized as the 2010
ITA National Rookie of the Year and the 2010 Southeastern Conference
Player of the Year, did not compete during the 2010 fall season because
of injury and could not earn an individual ranking in January. She is,
however, expected to return to the court for the 2011 spring season.

In November, Oyen and Allie Will became the third Gator pair to win the
USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships doubles title,
capping the fall season with an impressive 11-1 record as a team. Their
No. 1 ranking in the inaugural 2011 poll is the first time a Gator
doubles team has earned the top spot since the final 2000-01 ranking
when Whitney Laiho and Jessica Lehnhoff finished the year winning the
NCAA Doubles Championship.

Will compiled a 9-2 singles record during the fall and enters the 2011
dual match season with a 57-7 overall singles mark. During the 2010 fall
season, Will advanced to the semifinals of the USTA-ITA National Indoor
Championships and won the consolation draw of the Riviera/ITA
All-American Championships en route to being named to represent the
United States at the fifth annual Master’U BNP Paribas, an
international collegiate competition held in Rouen, France during

Janowicz staged an 8-3 singles record, highlighted by winning the ITA
Southeast Regional and earning a spot in the USTA-ITA National Indoor
Championships. Janowicz downed her roommate Cercone in the regional
title match, but Cercone was also awarded a wildcard into the USTA-ITA
National Indoor after her successful fall season that she ended with a
12-5 record.

Mather built a 10-3 singles record during the fall and improved to
51-19 in her career. The Gator junior, who played nine matches against
nationally-ranked opponents, also earned a spot in the national doubles
rankings with Hitimana, as the pair teamed for a 6-1 record, with the
lone loss coming against teammates Oyen and Will in the ITA Southeast
Region final.

Four Gators will compete in one final individual singles and doubles
tournament before turning their focus to the dual match season. Embree,
Mather, Cercone and Janowicz are slated to hit the courts at the Freeman
Memorial hosted by UNLV, Jan. 13-16.

Florida then entertains the U.S. Junior National Team on Wed., Jan. 19
at 4 p.m., before playing host to UCF on Wed., January 26 beginning at 5
p.m. at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex, where admission to all
regular-season matches is free.

ITA Women’s National Team Rankings, Top-25
1. Stanford
2. Florida
3. Baylor
4. Notre Dame
6. North Carolina
7. Duke
8. Michigan
9. Northwestern
10. California
11. Clemson
12. Miami (FL)
13. Tennessee
14. Florida State
15. Georgia
16. Georgia Tech
17. Texas at Austin
18. Mississippi
19. Southern California
20. Arizona State
21. South Carolina
22. Arkansas
23. Washington
24. Virginia
25. Illinois

Women’s National Singles Rankings (UF only)
7. Allie Will
22. Olivia Janowica
28. Alex Cercone
30. Joanna Mather
96. Sofie Oyen

Women’s National Doubles Rankings (UF only)
1. Sofie Oyen/Allie Will
56. Caroline Hitimana/Joanna Mather

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