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UNF Women’s Tennis Team to face South Carolina in NCAA’s

Michelle Valdez returns a volley. Photo courtesy of UNF Athletics

The Ospreys Women’s Tennis team erupted in cheers and claps at Sawgrass Country Club as they found out they would once again head to Columbia, S.C., May 12 to battle a familiar face in the first round of the NCAA tournament, playing the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Having been at their facility not too long ago certainly gives us all a nice sense of familiarity with the conditions over there,” said head coach Mariana Cobra.

The Gamecocks, a no. 14-seed, were able to finish their season 18-8, but lost in the SEC semifinals to Vanderbilt. Finishing the season 15-8, the Ospreys were not seeded in the tournament after defeating FGCU to win their third straight ASUN Championship. 

[This is an] exciting draw for us as we get to play one of the lower seeds,” said Cobra. “It is a challenge for sure, but feels good to see that people respect North Florida and are giving us credit.”

Earlier in the season the Ospreys faced the Gamecocks at the South Carolina “Carolina Classic” Invite. At the invite the Ospreys split the singles wins 3-3 with the Gamecocks, and they won one of the three doubles matches.

The Ospreys would play the Gamecocks again on Jan. 21 in a regular season match. The Ospreys were soundly defeated by the Gamecocks, with the final score of 0-4.

Cobra said since the Ospreys have faced the Gamecocks previously, they are aware of the tendencies that the Gamecocks possess and will best prepare for them in the time they have.

We play our best tennis when we are able to play selflessly and I am looking forward to seeing them do that on May 12th,” Cobra said.

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