Back surgery KOs No. 1 player
Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 1:29 a.m.
Florida's men's tennis team suffered a major blow Thursday when junior Janne Holmia underwent season-ending back surgery.
"Season ending injuries are an unfortunate part of all sports," fourth-year coach Andy Jackson said. "It is a terrible thing for Janne, but Janne and the rest of our team will respond in the correct way."
Holmia, a junior from Finland, was one of Florida's top returning players. Coincidently, Holmia was also ranked 50th in the country in singles Thursday when the ITA released its 2005 rankings.
Florida, though, should receive plenty of help from newcomers Nestor Briceno and Greg Ouellette. The freshmen were ranked 46th and 47th, respectively, in the preseason singles rankings.
The ITA also ranked the Gators third nationally behind No. 2 UCLA and Baylor. Florida plays in the SEC Indoor Championships this weekend in New Orleans.
Casey was a tight end for Florida's football team last fall, but came to Florida also wanting to play baseball. Casey was a 19th-round selection by the Minnesota Twins in last summer's Major League draft as a right-handed pitcher.
The 6-foot-6 Casey joins Gavin Dickey as Florida's two football/baseball players.
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