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The Gators completed their 2012 Fall Season and enjoyed a great deal of individual success. Florida returns to the court for the Freeman Memorial, Jan. 17-21 in Las Vegas, where the team will compete in an individual singles and doubles tournament for the last time prior to the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championships.
As a result of that success, Florida earned the No. 1 team ranking in the inaugural listing released on Jan. 3, 2013. The Gators also held the No. 1 ranking to start last year’s campaign, holding the top stop four weeks before ending the year winning the NCAA title and the final No. 1 ranking.
Individually, six Gators earned a spot in the January 2013 national singles rankings, with junior Sofie Oyen ranked No. 1 in the country after her terrific fall season.
Complete listing of Gators in the January 2013 ITA National Singles Rankings:
No. 1 Sofie Oyen
No. 5 Lauren Embree
No. 22 Danielle Collins
No. 66 Brianna Morgan
T-No. 82 Caroline Hitimana
No. 114 Olivia Janowicz
National Doubles Rankings:
No. 47 Olivia Janowicz & Caroline Hitimana
The first ranking of January 2013 was the first time in her career Sofie Oyen sat atop the national singles rankings.
Oyen is the 10th different Gator since the 1988 season to earn the No. 1 singles ranking, joining Halle Cioffe, Nicole Arendt, Lisa Raymond, Jill Craybas, Jessica Lehnhoff, Alexis Gordon, Jennifer Magley, Diana Srebrovic and Allie Will.
Under the coaching of Roland Thornqvist, who enters his 12th year in 2012-13 with the Gators, Oyen is the sixth different player to earn the No. 1 singles ranking, with Lehnhoff, Gordon, Magley, Srebrovic and Will all being listed atop the national chart.
During his 12-year tenure with Florida, Roland Thornqvist has developed players and helped their tennis game grow - as proof that Gators who didn’t begin their respective careers playing the No. 1 or No. 2 or No. 3 singles positions in the dual match lineup improved.
Sofie Oyen played the No. 4 singles position as a freshman and sophomore and had a break-out fall semester in her junior year leading to her No. 1 national singles ranking in January of 2013. Alexis Gordon played the No. 5 position her sophomore year, posting a 17-0 record and helping the Gators win the 2003 NCAA Team title that season. The next year, Gordon ascended to the No. 1 singles ranking in April of 2004. Jennifer Magley played the No. 6 position her freshman year, compiling a 17-2 record at that spot and also playing a key role in UF’s 2003 national championship run. Magley entered her senior season ranked No. 1 in the country.
Quick Fall Season Recap:
Senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) highlighted the individual action during the Fall when she captured her first collegiate Grand Slam title, as she won the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in October. Embree capped the fall season with a 6-1 record competing in two events. She sports a career singles record of 97-14 and a doubles log of 98-18.
Embree was selected for the second consecutive year to represent the United States at the 2012 Master’U BNP Paribas, a five-day team competition featuring international collegiate athletes that was held from Dec. 6 through 9 in Aix-en-Provence, France. She helped team USA capture the gold.
Freshman Danielle Collins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had an impressive fall campaign, racing out to a 13-3 singles record, highlighted by her showing at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, where she played her way through prequalifying and qualifying to reach the main draw, where she advanced to the round of 16.
Junior Sofie Oyen (Belgium) was 13-3 during the fall and reached the final of the ITA Southeast Regional Championships, just missing an automatic berth into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships after a 7-6, 7-6 loss in the final. She did, however, receive an at-large berth and proved she was worthy of it as she advanced to the semifinals of the national event.
Junior Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) compiled a 12-3 singles record, winning the consolation singles draw at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships, where, after being tripped up in the first round, Janowicz quickly recovered and dominated her five-match run in the backdraw, capped by a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Georgia State’s Linn Timmermann in the final. The Gator junior lost just three total games combined in her final three matches en route to the title.
Collins and Janowicz paired at the ITA SE Regional and reached the semifinals and improved their record as a tandem to 6-1. The pair also won the season-opening doubles title at the Michigan Women’s Tennis Wolverine Invitational.
Freshman Brianna Morgan (Beverly Hills, Calif.) was 8-2 in her first collegiate semester. She went 3-0 in Michigan and advanced to the round of 16 at the ITA SE Regional, falling 7-5 in the third set to end her run to the eventual champion. Morgan also reached the semifinals of the Dick Vitale Clay Court Championships before falling to teammate Caroline Hitimana, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.
Junior Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) posted a 6-4 during the 2012 Fall and enters the dual match season sporting a 72-24 career singles record. She reached the semifinals of the Dick Vitale Clay Court Championships, falling in three sets, and also bowed out of the ITA SE Regional in the round of 16, where she lost 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.
Senior Caroline Hitimana (Waterloo, Belguim) logged an 8-4 singles record during the 2012 Fall, highlighted by an appearance in the finals of the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, where she dropped a tough 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 decision in the last competition of the season.
For all of the latest information on Florida women’s tennis:
Official Website: http://www.gatorzone.com/tennis/women/
Twitter: @GatorZoneTennis and @GatorZoneNews