Roland Thornqvist

Coach Roland Thornqvist said the freshmen starting for the No. 3 Gators will gain experience by playing both No. 18 Oklahoma State tonight as well as in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships starting Friday.

Alan Alvarez de Sotomayor / Alligator Staff

Last Saturday, the No. 3 Florida women’s tennis team walked into its dual meet against Florida State with a 55-1 all-time record against the Seminoles, but was swiftly defeated 4-1.

Facing a similar scenario against the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowgirls tonight at 6:30 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, UF is hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

The Gators (2-1) have yet to lose against the Cowgirls (5-1) in the all-time series, currently sitting on a 10-0 lead. UF’s most significant win over OSU came last year in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships on May 21.

Like Florida, Oklahoma State has some new players on its roster, though its roster is much bigger, with 10 players on the team compared to UF’s seven.

Only two of the 10 are freshmen, meaning Gators first-year players Katie Kubicz, Victoria Emma and McCartney Kessler will see competition from players far more experienced than themselves.

“Oklahoma State is a team kind of like ours,” coach Roland Thornqvist said in a release. “It should be fun for us to play a lot of matches here against some good, quality competition.”

OSU is looking to capitalize on its momentum coming off a 4-2 win against Arkansas, while UF is hoping to come back to form after its shocking three-point loss to FSU. OSU’s only loss this season came against Ole Miss on Jan. 27.

While the dual meet should be a tough one for Florida, Thornqvist is also looking ahead to one of the bigger events of the year: the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.

“We’re going to get a good look at all the best teams in the country pretty much, so for a young team like ours that’s going to be great for us,” he said. “Everybody will get to see the level of competition on the national stage.”

Follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells and contact him at [email protected].

River Wells is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida women’s tennis team. He has previously covered UF swimming and diving. He has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.