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Compiled from school press releases
Published February 16, 2008
No. 6 UF Women's Tennis Falls to No. 15 Duke, 4-3
DURHAM, N.C. - The sixth-ranked University of Florida women's tennis team finally overcame the weather elements to be able to compete, however, the Gators didn't fair well playing on indoor courts, where they dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 15 Duke Friday evening at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.
After enduring postponements or cancellations to four dual matches already this season, the Gators (3-1) were anxious to compete against a highly-ranked squad, but it was the Blue Devils (2-0) who rallied from a 2-0 deficit to snap a five-match losing streak to Florida, which now holds a 30-4 all-time record against Duke. The Gators' last loss to the Blue Devils was a 4-3 decision on Feb. 9, 2003 in the finals of the National Team Indoor Championships. Florida went on to win the NCAA title later that season.
The Gators opened Friday's match winning the doubles point, sweeping all three positions. The No. 1 pair of sophomore Megan Alexander and newcomer Marrit Boonstra produced the clinching 8-5 win over Amanda Granson and Melissa Mang, after Whitney Benik and Lolita Frangulyan topped Tara Iyer and Reka Zsilinszka, 8-6, on court No. 2.
Freshman Julia Cohen then provided Florida with a 2-0 lead, having
little trouble disposing of Tara Iyer, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 1 singles
Duke's 17th-ranked Reka Zsilinszka then got the Blue Devils on the board
with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over 37th-ranked Alexander on court No. 4,
before fifth-ranked Ellah Nze evened the dual match at 2-all with a 7-5,
6-3 decision over 59th-ranked Csilla Borsanyi at the No. 2 spot.
Boonstra, however, moved Florida within one victory of the dual match
after dropping 99th-ranked Amanda Granson 6-4, 7-5 at No. 6, to give the
Gators a 3-2 lead.
But the Blue Devils had seized control on the remaining two singles
courts, and polished off the upset as Melissa Mang topped 50th-ranked
Anastasia Revzina at No. 5, before Elizabeth Plotkin provided the
clincher with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 final over Benik at the No. 3 position.
"Duke did a great job of capitalizing on the momentum swing. They were
vocal and showed a lot of energy and when the sensed victory, they got
tougher," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "We definitely need to
play more of those big matches because we didn't look comfortable when
things tightened. Hopefully, we will learn a lot about our performance
today and that will help us in future matches."
The Gators have little time to regroup, as Florida plays No. 5 North
Carolina (6-2) on Sunday in Chapel Hill beginning at 1 p.m.
Women's College Tennis
No. 6 Florida at No. 15 Duke
Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center * Durham, N.C.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Final Score: Duke 4, Florida 3
1. Megan Alexander/Marrit Boonstra, UF d. Amanda Granson/Melissa Mang,
2. Whitney Benik/Lolita Frangulyan, UF d. Tara Iyer/Reka Zsilinszka, DU
3. Julia Cohen/Anastasia Revzina, UF d. Ellah Nze/Elizabeth Plotkin, DU
1. Julia Cohen, UF d. Tara Iyer, DU 6-3, 6-0
2. Ellah Nze (5), DU d. Csilla Borsanyi (59), UF 7-5, 6-3
3. Elizabeth Plotkin (57), DU d. Whitney Benik, UF 6-2, 1-6, 6-1*
4. Reka Zsilinszka (17), DU d. Megan Alexander (37), 6-1, 6-4
5. Melissa Mang, DU d. Anastasia Revzina (50), UF 6-4, 6-4
6. Marrit Boonstra, UF d. Amanda Granson (99), DU 6-4, 7-5
The No. 10 Florida Softball team (9-0) earned two wins in the first day
of the Cox Communications Classic in Gainesville on Friday night. The
Gators defeated East Tennessee State (1-3) 9-0 in six innings and
College of Charleston (1-9) 10-0.
In the first game, Florida scored nine runs on only six hits, while
drawing eight walks for the 9-0 win over East Tennessee State (1-3) in
six innings Senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) led the team with a
2-for-4 performance with two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore
Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) finished the game 1-for-2 with
two walks, two runs and three RBI.
Sophomore Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) drew a lead off walk
to start the Gator half of the second. Junior Ali Gardiner (Waccabuc,
N.Y.) and senior Mary Ratliff (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) followed with
back-to-back base hits to load the bases. Freshman Kristine Priebe
(Moorpark, Calif.) knocked the third consecutive Gator hit of the inning
up the middle to score Enea. A freshman Megan Bush (Anaheim Hills,
Calif.) fielder's choice scored Gardiner, but put Priebe out at second,
leaving runners at first and third. Ratliff scored and Bush went to
second on a double steal. Sophomore Corrie Brooks (Christmas, Fla.) drew
a walk. She and Bush both advanced on a wild pitch. Junior Kim
Waleszonia (Fontana, Calif.) drew a walk to load the bases again. Bush
came home on junior Kristina Hilberth (Dunedin, Fla.) fielder's choice
play to give the Gators the 4-0 lead.
Gardiner drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third frame. Junior
Danyell Hines (Bryan, Texas) came in to pinch run for her. Ratliff
blasted a two-run homer, her second of the season, to put Florida up by
Hilberth led off the sixth with a bunt single. Freshman Aja Paculba
(Wildomar, Calif.) walked. Amanda Haverman came in to relieve East
Tennessee starter Marissa Hardy in the circle. Enea took the first pitch
she was offered over the centerfield fence for a three-run, walk-off
homer, giving Florida the 9-0 win in six innings.
Freshman hurler Stephanie Brombacher (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) pitched the
complete game, giving up only one hit to earn her fourth win of the
season. She tied her career high with seven strikeouts. Hardy took the
loss for the Buccaneers.
Florida used a season-high 15 hits for a 10-0 win over College of
Charleston (1-9) in game two. Six different Gators had two hits a piece
in the game, Waleszonia (2-3), Hilberth (2-4), Paculba (2-4), Enea
(2-3), Ratliff (2-4) and Brooks (2-3).
The Gators got off to a quick start in game two as Waleszonia and
Hilberth led off the game with back-to-back bunt singles. The runners
stole second and third. They both scored on a Paculba base hit to
center. Paculba advanced to second on the throw home. Enea knocked in
Paculba with a base hit to left and advanced to second on the throw.
Gardiner walked, but was thrown out on a fielder's choice play in
Ratliff's at bat. The play allowed Enea to advance to third, enabling
her to score on freshman Tiffany DeFelice's (Coral Springs, Fla.)
sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead.
Brooks led of the top of the second with an infield base hit. She stole
second and advanced to third on a Waleszonia ground out. Hilberth earned
her first of two RBI on the day, scoring Brooks with a single to left
The Gators added one more run in each the fourth and sixth innings. In
the fourth, Paculba stole home, putting the Gators up 6-0. Junior Le-Net
Franklin (Belton, Texas) led off the sixth reaching on a passed ball
after a strikeout. She stole second and moved to third on a Waleszonia
sacrifice fly. She scored the Gators' seventh run of the game on a
Hilberth ground out to the Cougar short stop.
Florida put up its final three runs in the top of the seventh. Junior
Brooke Johnson (Lakeland, Fla.) led off the inning with a pinch hit
double to center field. Gardiner knocked a line drive over the left
field fence for her first home run of the 2008 season and two RBI.
Back-to-back douTexas) set up the sacrifice opportunity for Bush. Bush took full
advantage, hitting a towering pop up deep to center field to score
Ratliff for the final run of the game, giving the Gators the 10-0
Junior Stacey Nelson (Los Alamitos, Calif.) started the game and struck
out six in the first three innings. Freshman Kelsey Bruder (Corona,
Calif.) relieved Nelson to start the fourth and pitched three innings to
earn her first collegiate win. Adkins pitched the final inning in relief
The Gators continue Cox Communications Classic play on Saturday with a
1:30 p.m. game versus North Carolina and a 4 p.m. game against East
Knight Leads No. 7/13 T&F To Strong Start At Iowa State Classic
AMES, Iowa - Senior Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) posted a
season-best time of 23.68 to win the women's 200m at the Iowa State
Classic on Friday night, kicking off the weekend in a fine fashion for
the No. 7/13 University of Florida track & field team.
"We talked this week about consistency and about getting better each
time out, and I thought we did that tonight," Florida head coach Mike
Holloway said. "We got off to a good start in the hurdles, and that gave
us the spark to put up some good individual performances tonight. We've
talked about the need for people to step up in certain areas, and that
was the case for us tonight."
Knight earned her third victory in the 200m in as many meets, each
coming in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time. She missed her personal
best by just .07 en route to winning the event by nearly three-tenths of
"The big thing for Natalie Knight is that she's become a lot more
trusting as the year has gone on," Holloway said. "She's trusting what
we say as coaches, she's trusting the program and she's trusting in her
God-given ability. All of that has combined to make her a leader and
great performer for this team."
Senior Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) finished two spots behind Knight with
a time of 23.97.
Sophomore Wondy Pierre-Louis (Naples, Fla.) leapt his way into eighth
place on Florida's all-time indoor men's long jump list on the opening
night of the Iowa State Classic, finishing third with a mark of
7.52m/24-8.25. The effort earned Pierre-Louis the first NCAA provisional
standard of his career.
Senior Shawneise Williams (Archer, Fla.) registered a fifth-place mark
of 19.83m/65-0.75 in the women's weight throw to bring UF's count of
NCAA provisional marks to three on Thursday.
Indoor sophomore Jeremy Criscione (Interlachen, Fla.) led the way for
the Gators' distance squad on Thursday, taking fifth in the men's 5,000m
with a time of 14:30.79. The mark bettered Criscione's career-best in
the event by close to eight seconds.
The UF men captured five of the top 11 places in the 200m, led by a
fourth-place finish by sophomore Calvin Smith (Lutz, Fla.), who stopped
the watches at 21.35. Junior Willie Perry (Lenoir, N.C.) finished fifth
at 21.40, senior Bernard Middleton (Jacksonville, Fla.) and freshman
Deonte Thompson (Belle Glade, Fla.) tied for ninth at 21.64 and junior
R.J. Anderson (Big Pine Key, Fla.) placed 11th at 21.70.
A trio of Gator men also finished among the top 16 in the first round of
the 60m hurdles, qualifying for tomorrow's semifinal. Junior Dennis
Martin (Anderson, S.C.) led the way, qualifying fourth with a time of
7.94, while junior Kallinka Pitt (Largo, Fla.) finished sixth in the
prelim at 8.01 and senior Joe Taylor (West Palm Beach, Fla.) took 12th
Florida will be back in action on Saturday when the Iowa State Classic
resumes at 10:25 a.m. ET with the non-seeded heats of the 3,000m.
No. 3 Florida Gymnastics Team Uses Nation's Top 2008 Total to Post
197.925-196.325 Win Over No. 6 LSU
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 3 Florida gymnastics team (6-1, 4-1 SEC)
used the nation's top total of the 2008 season to defeat No. 3 LSU (8-2,
3-2 SEC) Friday evening in front of a Stephen C. O'Connell Center crowd
of 6,705. Florida's total of 197.925 also ranks as the third-highest in
school history. The Tigers turned in their second-highest total of 2008
A total of 10 collegiate-best marks were set or matched Friday by Gator
performers. Sophomore All-American Amanda Castillo used a
collegiate-best of 39.575 to collect her first all-around title of the
season and the third of her Gator career. She just edged a pair of
All-American teammates, as junior Corey Hartung and sophomore Melanie
Sinclair shared second at 39.55. That total ranks as collegiate-best for
Castillo, who finished third in the 2007 NCAA all-around competition, is
the fourth Gator to earn an all-around title this season. She had
competed as an all-around in five previous meets, finishing second once
and third once. UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn knew tonight's performance by
Castillo was just a matter time.
"For the first couple of meets, Amanda didn't quite put it all together,
which caused her to doubt herself. She is doing better in the (practice)
gym than last year, so it was just a matter of letting it happen," Faehn
said. "So tonight she just let it happen. After her floor, I whispered
in her ear 'Amanda's back.'" And it's just in time for when we need to
start pushing for the end season."
A little mental pep talk helped Castillo focus for tonight's meet.
"I feel like I've been second guessing myself all season and I wasn't
going to have any more of that. So I cleared my head, came in here and
did what I do in the gym. I gave myself a pep talk," Castillo said.
"There's nothing you can do, really. You have to put everything
behind you and go out there and do it. You practice so hard and so many
times with so many numbers in the gym. You just have to tell yourself
that it's just another routine in the gym."
Castillo anchored the Florida floor exercise lineup with a winning mark
of 9.95 - matching her collegiate-best for her fifth title for the event
of the season. Hartung and senior Nicola Willis each turned in a
season-best 9.925 to tie for second in the final floor standings.
Castillo, Sinclair and Willis shared the uneven bars title with a Gator
season-best of 9.95. That mark also stands as a collegiate-best for
Castillo and Willis. Hartung led all competitors to take her fourth
balance beam title of 2008 with a mark of 9.90. The evening's vault
title went to LSU's Susan Jackson, who turned in a collegiate-best of
9.975. Three tied for second on the event at 9.95 - Sinclair, Tiffany
Murry and LSU's Ashleigh Clare-Kearney. The 9.95 vault mark is a
collegiate-best for Sinclair and Murry.
The meet was tight at the midway point, as Florida held just a
two-tenths advantage. But an out-of-bounds on floor and a fall on beam
hurt LSU's score. Florida turned in season-best totals on its final
three events - uneven bars (49.625), balance beam (49.40) and floor
exercise (49.55). Sinclair said the team has been training hard for a
performance like tonight's.
"I felt that the whole team was together tonight," Sinclair said. "All
the training we've done showed out there tonight. It's always great to
have a high team score. It's exciting and it builds your confidence."
Tonight's meet was the Second Annual Gators Link to Pink, part of the
Southeastern Conference's initiative to help raise awareness about
breast cancer. The Gators wore bright pink leotards and much of the
crowd wore pink to show their support for the fight against breast
"We want to have this meet every year," Faehn said. "It was so inspiring
for the team to be welcomed into the arena by a tunnesurvivors. We want to do whatever we can to help raise awareness in the
fight against breast cancer. We couldn't be more pleased with the
support showed in the arena tonight."
Next weekend, the Gators travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to meet the No. 19
North Carolina Tar Heels. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. in the Carmichael
Final Team Standings
No. 3 Florida vs. No. 6 LSU - Feb. 15, 2008 - Stephen C. O'Connell
Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
1. Florida 49.35 49.625 49.40 49.55 197.925
2. LSU 49.475 49.30 48.625 48.925 196.325
SEMINOLES DROP 5-2 DECISION TO JACKSONVILLE
Freshman Allison Collins recorded third home run of the season against the Dolphins.
Tallahassee, Fla. - In its first game of the Seminole Classic, the Florida State softball squad fell 5-2 to in-state rival Jacksonville on JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Seminoles are now 3-3 on the season but still lead the overall series with the Dolphins 8-4.
Leading the Seminoles in hitting was freshman Allison Collins who hit her third career homer in the top of the fifth to score the first run of the evening for FSU. Collins went 1-for-3 against Jacksonville to improve her season average to .389, good for third on the team.
Shortstop Ashley Stager also went 1-for-3, tripling down the right field line on a full count. Stager, whose .421 batting average is second for FSU, scored the final run of the evening off an RBI single by Brittany Osmon .
Taking to loss for FSU was sophomore Terese Gober who pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and five earned runs. Gober, who is now 2-2, walked just one batter and struck out eight. Earning the win for Jacksonville was Jackie Samuels who is 3-1 after allowing only two hits and one earned run against the Seminoles.
The last time the Dolphins had a victory over Florida State was on their home turf in 2006 when they won the second game of a doubleheader 2-1. The teams will meet again next week as the Seminoles travel to Jacksonville to play two on February 19.
The Seminole Classic continues Saturday, Feb. 16, at 10:00 a.m. with the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman versus the Michigan State Spartans. Florida State will play the second game of the afternoon against the Wildcats.
Watch the Seminoles live via web streaming on ACCSelect.com and follow live stat updates with Game Tracker on Seminoles.com .
FSU Track and Field Starts Strong in First Day of Tyson Invitational
The Seminoles begin Arkansas meet with new indoor long jump school record.
Fayetteville, Ark . - A frosty morning in Arkansas gave way to a heated day of success as the Florida State track and field squad turned one automatic and three provisional qualifying marks at the Tyson Invitational. Among the day's highlights was a school record-breaking performance in the long jump from freshman Ngoni Makusha and two top 60m dash performances from All-Americans Walter Dix and Michael Ray Garvin .
"Of course the two big highlights on the guys side were Ngoni Makusha and Michael Ray Garvin dominating their events," said head coach Bob Braman. "Those are important pieces for us getting ready for nationals. On the women's side, Teona Rodgers ran a great race and Amanda Quick had her second-best time in the mile this morning. We also had Brian Chibudu competing in his first meet in two years. All in all it was a good first day, but we've got a lot more work to do tomorrow."
Newcomer Makusha shattered the Florida State indoor long jump record with a distance of 26'00.25". The Zimbabwe-native's career-best jump also gave him his first career automatic qualifying mark and something else.
"I improved on my personal-best and I also improved my country's record," said Makusha, who now holds the all-time Zimbabwe high jump record. As for his automatic bid to the national championships, Makusha added, "Going to nationals is a big step for me, it was one of my goals."
Like Makusha, Garvin also bested his top career mark in the finals of the 60m dash, clocking in at 6.65. Garvin improved on his provisional mark earlier in the season by five-hundredths of a second. Dix finished ahead of Garvin by a hair in the 60m prelims to receive his first provisional qualifying mark of the season with a time of 6.68, but chose not to compete in the finals in order to prepare for tomorrow's races.
Senior Drew Brunson and freshman Teona Rodgers both put forth a stellar set of performances in the 60m hurdles. Brunson picked up his second provisional mark of the season as he finished fifth in the men's 60m hurdles prelims with a 7.83 to advance to tomorrow's finals.
Rodgers also advanced to the finals with a tenth-place time of 8.44, her best mark of the season. Later in the afternoon, the Tampa, Fla.-native notched a 7.47 in the 60m dash to move on to the consolation finals where she finished eighth.
Including today's performances, Florida State now holds three automatic and eight provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships next month, which will also be held in Fayetteville.
USF Men's Tennis
Bulls Cruise Past Hatters 5-2
TAMPA, Fla. - The No. 54 University of South Florida men's tennis team picked up its second-straight victory against a Florida school Friday afternoon, defeating the Stetson Hatters, 5-2, at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
The Bulls (3-2) started the match off strong by taking two-of-three doubles matches to put them up, 1-0, going into singles competition.
The doubles tandem of Lucas Jovita and Michael Nusslein raised their record to 4-1 on the season at the No. 2 spot by downing Joey Jones and Serguei Boulanov, 8-4 to clinch the doubles point.
Freshman Jamal Adderley bounced back from a tough doubles loss with partner Mahmoud Hamed to defeat Stetson senior Joey Jones in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. Adderley's big serve was the key to his victory, recording nine aces to take care of business in less then one hour. He now hold's a 4-1 dual match record at the No. 3 position.
Thomas Estrada was second off the court for the Bulls as he took care of Chris Swanteson, 6-3, 6-3. The sophomore out Medellin, Colombia raised his season record to 3-1 at the No. 6 spot on the season.
"I just made sure that I went after every serve from my opponent," said Estrada. "I knew if I were to stay aggressive, I would come out with a victory.
The match-clincher came at the No. 5 singles spot where freshman Michael Nusslein sailed to a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Boulanov. The key to Nusslein's victory was his ability to move his opponent along the baseline and not give up the easy shot.
"I kept the ball deep in the court and forced him to make mistakes," said Nusslein. "He kept going for the big shot and I knew if I didn't make any mistakes, I would be able to force him to make some."
The Bulls will return to the courts on Sunday, Feb. 17 when they travel to Coral Gables to face the No. 26 Miami Hurricanes. The Canes came out victorious in the last meeting, 5-2, which took place in Tampa.