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Tennis notes

By ANTONYA ENGLISH and JOANNE KORTH

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 12, 2001


USF men's region

WHEN/WHERE: Today and Sunday; Los Angeles.

FIRST ROUND: South Florida (16-8) vs. South Carolina (12-12), 10 a.m.; UCLA (20-2) vs. Cal State-Sacramento (20-2), 1 p.m. Winners play at noon Sunday.

TOP SEED: Host UCLA is the No. 3 team in the nation and the region's top seed. The Bruins held the No. 1 position for nine weeks.

FORMAT: The NCAA championships consist of single-elimination team and individual championships. In dual matches, the three doubles matches count for one point total and are played first, followed by six singles matches, which each count for one point. Best of three sets wins the match.

OF NOTE: South Florida must overcome inexperience. The Bulls are ranked No. 36 in the country, but their young team includes three freshmen and two sophomores. They are led by freshman Paco Antelo, a first-team All-Conference USA selection. South Carolina is led by Guillaume Legat, who is ranked No. 7 in the nation. With the exception of a loss to Stanford this season, UCLA hasn't lost at home since Feb. 1, 2000.

QUOTE: "We're playing a team that is very tough. We are No. 36 and they are only seven spots ahead of us in the rankings, so it should be a very good, attainable match. The biggest thing is we've got a pretty young team, so to get that competition will only make them stronger. We're not going to be intimidated by them. I'm looking for them to play like they have all season and I think we'll be successful. Hopefully, we can get two wins, but the main thing is that they learn something from this experience." -- USF coach Don Barr.

UF men's region

WHEN/WHERE: Today and Sunday; Palo Alto, Calif.

FIRST ROUND: No. 2-seeded Florida (9-16) vs. No. 3-seeded Oklahoma State (15-8), noon. Stanford (21-1) vs. fourth-seeded Pacific (14-10).

TOP SEED: Stanford is No. 1 in the nation and the region's top seed.

OF NOTE: Florida has added incentive -- its coach, Ian Duvenhage, was fired this week. The Gators, ranked No. 31, are making their 11th straight NCAA appearance. Nathan Overholser owns UF's career doubles victory record.

UF women's region

WHEN/WHERE: Today-Sunday; Ring Tennis Complex, Gainesville.

FIRST ROUND: Miami (15-8) vs. Arkansas (9-12), 10 a.m.; Florida (20-2) vs. Bethune-Cookman (8-12) 2 p.m. First-round winners, noon Sunday.

AT STAKE: Winner advances to 16-team NCAA Championships Thursday-May 20 at Stone Mountain, Ga.

FORMAT: Dual matches are played with a best-of-seven point system in which one point is awarded for each of six singles matches and one point to the team that wins two of three doubles matches. Singles matches are best of three sets, doubles matches are pro sets to eight games.

OF NOTE: Florida has appeared in 19 of 20 NCAA Championships and won three team titles (1982, "96 and "98); four singles titles (Shaun Stafford, 1988; Lisa Raymond 1992 and '93; Jill Craybas, 1996); and three doubles titles (Jillian Alexander and Nicole Arendt, 1991; Dawn Buth and Stephanie Nickitas, 1996 and "97). ... Miami, Arkansas and Bethune-Cookman do not have a singles player ranked in the top 100. ... Bethune-Cookman will use its manager at No. 6 singles to satisfy the six-player minimum.

WHAT UF HAS TO DO: Stay healthy! The Gators are the strongest team, but have just six players, the minimum required to submit a lineup in the NCAA Tournament. No. 1 singles player Whitney Laiho is ranked seventh nationally, No. 2 Jessica Lenhoff 13th, No. 3 Lindsay Dawaf 46th, No. 5 Julia Scaringe 81st, and the No. 1 doubles team of Laiho-Lenhoff fourth. But UF will forfeit if any of the six cannot play.

ADMISSION: An all-session pass is $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, college students and children under 17. Single-day tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, college students and children under 17.

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