May 18, 2006
Florida improves to 24-1 with its 18th straight win ... Gators have not lost since Feb. 26 (to North Carolina) ... Florida is now 21-2 in NCAA round of 16 matches ... UF is second only to Stanford in NCAA titles won (4) and is the last school other than Stanford to win the NCAA title (2003) ... UCLA (15-7) falls in round of 16 for the second straight year ... Sophomore Alex Liles clinched win at No. 6 singles, 6-2, 5-7, 7-3, over Elizabeth Lumpkin, ending UCLA's comeback bid ... UCLA had posted an upset win over Pepperdine in second round to advance to Stanford ... Florida will face Baylor in QF - these two last met in NCAA round of 16 last year (4-2 UF win) ... Florida and Baylor share the nation's second-longest win streak (18).
Florida Head Coach Roland Thornqvist:
Opening Statement: "I thought the match this evening was one of the best college matches I've ever been a part of. A match like this takes a lot out of you, more so mentally than anything else. I thought our players handled it really, really well. The UCLA team was a very, very tough team. They outplayed us in doubles and battled us on every court. I'm just really pleased with the way we responded to this challenge. It was a huge challenge for us today. I'm just really happy that our players were able to step up and answer the call."
UCLA Head Coach Stella Sampras Webster:
Opening Statement: It's a tough loss for the Bruins today. "We played a tough Florida team and I was really pleased with how my team went out there today. They were ready. They were prepared to play. We started out great, winning the doubles point but I knew their singles was strong so Florida was going to come out after us. We had some opportunities with some of those singles to win but it didn't go our way. Florida came out ahead. It's just a hard, tough match to lose. It really could have gone either way. Florida played just that much better to win the match. I was really proud of my team, my players. They worked really hard and have improved a lot over the season."
"It was a great match to be a part of. The energy was awesome. I have a very spirited team and it's a team which I love to coach. We knew that we were up against a really strong team and had to be mentally and physically strong to beat them."