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Monday, March 04, 2024

They've had a week to rest, catch up on school and lick their wounds. Now, the Gators women are hitting the road again.

The No. 13 UF tennis team will play FSU in Tallahassee at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The team is infiltrating hostile territory with last week's Southeastern Conference Player of the Week Marrit Boonstra, who is also the No. 7 singles player according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Boonstra's usual doubles partner, Megan Alexander, sat out the 4-1 win against Troy on Saturday with a sore back.

Coach Roland Thornqvist said the junior is listed as day-to-day.

Saturday would be the best time for her return, as the matchup against the Seminoles puts the Gators (6-3) back into the situation of playing high-caliber teams away from home. Their three losses have been on the road.

FSU (6-2), on the other hand, marched into Baton Rouge, La., and dismantled then-No. 23 LSU squad 5-2. The win moved the Seminoles into the top 25.

Thornqvist doesn't believe their No. 24 ranking is a fluke.

"They're much better than that, in my opinion," he said. "They have a great team this year. They have one new player who's, I guess, been out … that I think is fantastic."

That player is Noemie Scharle, ranked No. 48 and playing on Court 2. In addition to the freshman, FSU has two other players, sophomores Katie Rybakova (23) and Federica Suess (81), in the top 100.

Freshman Jessica Alexander welcomes the challenge, saying she was excited to play another in-state rival.

But Thornqvist believes this FSU team is superior to the ones he's played in the past.

"This is the best team that they've had, probably, ever," Thornqvist said. "We have our work cut out for us."

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Cueto earns SEC honors: Carlos Cueto was named SEC Freshman of the Week after his performances against South Florida and Miami.

The No. 24 singles player is 6-2 in singles and 8-0 teaming with Alex Lacroix in doubles this spring. Since his arrival in the fall, he is 19-4.

The UF men travel to FSU on Tuesday.

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