Roundup: UF tennis teams to host opening NCAA rounds


Florida junior Alexandra Cercone and the top-seeded Gators will begin their quest for a third straight NCAA title at home on May 11.

Brett Le Blanc / Correspondent
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.

The University of Florida men's and women's tennis teams both were chosen as one of 16 hosts of their respective NCAA First and Second Round Championship matches, the NCAA Committee announced today from Indianapolis.

The event will run from May 10-12 at UF's Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.

The Florida men's team will host two first round matches on May 10 and a second round contest on May 11, while the women will play their first round matches on May 11 and the second round on May 12. The winning team from each of the regionals advances to Urbana, Ill., for the NCAA Round of 16 and beyond.

The UF women's team, which is the two-time defending NCAA champion, received the No. 1 seed in the 64-team draw. Florida (22-2) faces Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champion Marist College (11-7) for the first time in program history in its NCAA First Round contest on Saturday, May 12 at 1 p.m. ET. The other NCAA Women's First Round match played in Gainesville features No. 22-ranked Georgia Tech (14-9), which earned an at-large berth after finishing fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), versus No. 37-ranked and Ivy League automatic qualifier Yale (17-3) on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The winning teams from those first-round matches meet in the second round on May 11 at 1 p.m.

“Our players are use to having that bulls-eye on their back,” UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. “That's one of the neat things of this year is that almost all of our players have played up a position or two in the lineup from year's past so not only have they had to adjust to playing with the bulls-eye that we feel like we have every time we play, but doing so playing up in the lineup and our players have handled that well.”

The Florida men's team, ranked No. 15 with a 15-10 overall record, will host the first two rounds on May 10-11, holding the top seed in the Gainesville regional. The Gators will play Denver (11-11) in the opening round with the winner of the match to face the winner of 18th-ranked California (14-9) and Florida State (18-10).

Florida faces Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after the Pioneers claimed the WAC Championship to claim the conference's automatic bid. Cal earned an at-large bid after finishing tied for second in the Pac-12. Florida State also earned an at-large bid after finished tied for seventh in the ACC.

Women's golf: The fifth-ranked Florida women's golf team will compete in the NCAA Central Regional at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course in Norman, Okla., May 9-11.

The Gators, the three-seed in the regional field, will attempt to advance to the NCAA Championships for the 24th time in school history and have their first back-to-back-to-back appearances since the '96 through '98 seasons.

The Central Regional includes seven teams that won their respective conference tournaments and nine teams that are ranked in the top-25 of the GolfWorld/WGCA Coaches' Poll including: No. 3 Duke, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Florida, No. 10 Washington, No. 12 Arizona State, No. 18 Texas Tech, No. 20 UC Davis and No. 25 Iowa State.

Three regional tournaments will be conducted May 9-11 to determine the championship field. Along with the Central Regional, the East Regional will be played at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala., hosted by Auburn University and the West Regional will be played at the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif., hosted by Stanford University.

A total of 378 participants have been selected for regional competition. Of these players, 126 will advance to the championships finals. Eight teams and two individuals from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. The championship finals will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

Men's golf: Seniors Tyler McCumber and T.J. Vogel both earned All-SEC honors for the second consecutive year. McCumber was a first-team all-conference selection, while Vogel made the second team.

McCumber was the Gators' top player statically through the regular season and 2013 SEC Championship. He leads the team in birdies (81), eagles (4), rounds at or under par (12), scoring differential (2.52), stroke average (72.4), top-five finishes (2), and tournaments at or under par (2). McCumber is coming one of his best performances of the season, tying for third place at the 2013 SEC Championship. It marks the second year in-a-row he has placed third at the conference championship.

In his second season at Florida, Vogel has continued to be one of the top players in the conference. He leads the team in percentage of rounds of counted (92) and is tied for the team-lead in top-10 finishes (4). In the fall, Vogel placed in the top-10 of every tournament the team played in. In addition, Vogel was one of six amateurs to participate in the 2013 Masters Tournament by virtue of winning the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

The team will return to action May 16 at the NCAA Regionals.

Track and field: Florida's Cory McGee and Jeremy Postin have been honored as the SEC Women's Runner of the Week and SEC Men's Field Athlete of the Week, respectively.

McGee ran a new personal-best time in the women's 1,500 meters, finishing second among collegians at the Payton Jordan Invitational with a time of 4:10.55. The junior currently ranks second in the nation in the 1,500, accomplishing the feat against a stacked field that included five other athletes who rank among the top-11 nationally in the event. McGee leads the SEC in the 1,500 meters and is now second all-time in Florida program history in the event.

Postin threw a season-best 68.68m/22-54 to win the Arkansas Invitational men's hammer throw competition. Postin, the reigning SEC Champion in the event, leads the SEC and ranks fourth in the nation this season in the men's hammer. The senior is one of only six athletes nationally to eclipse 220 feet nationally and one of only four to throw better than 68 meters in the event.

The Gators have had 12 SEC weekly honors this season and this is McGee's second weekly honor of 2013. She also earned honors for her performance at the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener to begin the 2013 indoor season.

The Gators will send a small contingent of athletes on Friday to the Seminole Twilight meet in Tallahassee, Fla. The one-day meet is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

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