HomeSportsUF Women’s Tennis: Florida Selected to Host NCAA First & Second Rounds
UF Women’s Tennis: Florida Selected to Host NCAA First & Second Rounds
May 4, 2021
Courtesy of University Athletic Association
BY SAM STOLTE
No. 11 Gators earn 33rd straight bid to NCAA Tennis Championships; host Siena Friday
For the 38th time in program history, the University of Florida women’s tennis team has earned a spot in the NCAA Tennis Championships as the 64-team bracket was unveiled Monday evening.
For the 20th time since the NCAA Championships expanded its field to 64 in 1999, Florida will play host to the first and second rounds. The Gators (12-7, 10-3) welcome Siena College (7-3, 3-2) to Linder Stadium at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex on Friday, May 7. First serve is slated for 1 p.m. ET.
With a victory over MAAC champion Siena, No. 11 overall seed Florida would take on the winner of the matchup between USC and Oklahoma, who compete alongside the Gators and Saints in the Gainesville regional. The second round match is slated for Saturday.
The Ring Tennis Complex will serve as a dual site for the opening rounds for the first time since the 2017-18 season as the Florida men’s team secured their tournament’s No. 1 overall seed and was selected to host for the fifth-straight season.
Florida, which finished the regular season on a seven-match winning streak, registered a 10-3 mark in conference play and a second place finish in the competitive cauldron that is the SEC. The Gators, who have battled 13 straight ranked opponents, have been a strong singles team all year long with a 56-31 overall record in dual match action. Senior McCartney Kessler, who was named to the All-SEC First Team last week, leads the way with a 13-2 record and has won her last seven matches. Left-handed-hitting Sydney Berlin is second on the team with 11 dual match wins and posted an 8-2 mark in SEC competition. Sophomore Layne Sleeth wrapped up the season with a 9-1 record and has posted victories in her last six matchups.
Junior Marlee Zein and senior Ida Jarlskog also garnered all-conference recognition, earning spots on the All-SEC Second Team, while freshman Sara Dahlstrom was tabbed to the All-Freshman squad.
UF, which has posted a 9-6 record against ranked opponents, last took to the courts on April 21 when it squared off with South Carolina in the SEC Tournament’s quarterfinal round. Meeting for the second time in eight days, the Gators weren’t able to replicate the same success they had when they defeated the Gamecocks in Columbia in their regular season finale. Florida fell 4-1 to South Carolina despite a late comeback bid.
No. 9 Kessler, No. 58 Zein, No. 79 Sleeth, and No. 116 Jarlskog all represent the Gators in the ITA singles rankings. In doubles, the Gators feature No. 6 Kessler and Zein and No. 60 Jarlskog and Sleeth.
The men and women combined for a 17-1 record in home matches this season.
Both the men’s and women’s first and second round competitions will feature a four-team bracket, with the winners of each pod advancing to the championship rounds at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., May 16-28.
Selections for the NCAA Division I Singles and Doubles Championships will be announced Tuesday evening.