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Sunday, June 16, 2024

The UF women's tennis team dropped just 13 games and played as though it was in mid-season form in its 7-0 season-opening win against Stetson on Wednesday.

UF coach Roland Thornqvist said he was pleased with his team's play, but he was mostly excited to have finally played a true opponent.

"We're off and running," said Thornqvist, who collected his 150th win at UF. "I'm very, very pleased with the first day."

Newcomers Julia Cohen and Marrit Boonstra helped lead the way for UF in their first career matches as Gators.

Cohen paired with senior Lolita Frangulyan in an 8-1 victory on the doubles court, and Boonstra played alongside sophomore Megan Alexander, winning 8-2.

Senior Whitney Benik and sophomore Csilla Borsanyi made quick work of their opponents on the doubles court as well, posting an 8-0 win that took just 25 minutes.

On the singles courts, Boonstra and Alexander each shut out their opponents 6-0, 6-0 in timely fashion, while Cohen and Benik dropped just one game each.

"It was my first college match and it felt great," said Cohen, who played in the No. 1 slot in the Gators' lineup. "I'm so happy to be a Gator, and I'm so happy to be here. I'm around great coaches and great teammates."

After the match, Boonstra expressed her satisfaction to finally play for the Gators and take advantage of her opportunity to get on the court.

"I really enjoyed it because it didn't look like I was going to play, and this is so much better than sitting outside the court," she said.

Thornqvist noted the smooth transition that Cohen and Boonstra made in their first collegiate matches.

"Julia beating her 1 and 0 (6-1, 6-0) in an hour - that to me is a good grade off the bat," he said. "Neither one of them looked that nervous first time in a Florida uniform."

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Frangulyan dismissed her opponent on the singles court in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, without much difficulty. Borsanyi wrapped up the singles play for the Gators with a 6-2, 6-1 victory on the No. 2 court.

Of the eight players on UF's roster, two didn't play due to injury, including senior Diana Srebrovic (back) and sophomore Anastasia Revzina (wrist). Thornqvist said Revzina should return for Saturday's match, while Srebrovic's status will be day-to-day.

The Gators will not have much time to sit back and relax, as they will host Central Florida on Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Ring Tennis Complex.

UF is 5-0 all-time against the Knights, including a 7-0 win last year.

The team will get a day off following that match before competing against South Alabama on Saturday, which will be its third match in four days.

Thornqvist said these early-season matches give his team more chances to improve certain aspects of its play and get a better feel for dual-match play.

"We really see how good we are and comfortable we are in a match setting," he said. "So tomorrow's an opportunity for us to call some plays in doubles that we're not comfortable with and just to work on."

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