May 9, 2003
GAINESVILLE, FL - In its first NCAA Tournament appearance, Florida Atlantic University fell victim, 4-0, against the nation's no. 2 ranked team, the University of Florida. The Lady Owls, ranked no. 64, steamrolled into the tournament by winning the Atlantic Sun, but didn't catch any breaks in drawing host UF. UF, who boast six ranked players, jumped ahead, 1-0, after capturing the doubles point and never looked back.
The Lady Owls fell behind, 2-0, when Tania Rivera retired in the first set at no. 4. Rivera had a viral infection earlier in the week and withdrew after having difficulty catching her breath. FAU bowed out after losing the next two matches.
The last three matches were left undecided, as all seemed destined for a third set.
Despite the loss in the NCAA's, FAU had a banner season. For the year, the Lady Owls recorded a program record 19 wins, versus only six losses, won the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, and made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
"This was a good experience for us." Head coach Caroline Wheelen said following the match. "The next couple of years when we get back here, we'll know we've been to the first-round before, and we've played a top seed before. We'll have expectations."
Several Lady Owls stood out individually as well. Alena Dvorakova ends the season with a no. 67 ranking and a 20-match win streak. Meanwhile, Karolina Roubickova, Maria Aguirre-Gomez, Krystel Borg and Rivera all won at least 12 matches.
In doubles, Aguirre-Gomez teamed with FAU's other senior, Jessica Burrow, in compiling a 13-2 record. The tandem ends the season ranked no. 54.
FAU looks to be strong again next season, as six of its eight players will return, four of which recorded double-digit singles victories this year.
1. Julia Scaringe (UF) vs. Alena Dvorakova (FAU) unfinished.
2. Julie Rotondi (UF) vs. Karolina Roubickova (FAU) unfinished.
3. Lindsay Dawaf (UF) vs. Maria Aguirre-Gomez (FAU) unfinished.
4. Zerene Reyes (UF) def. Tania Rivera (FAU) 4-2 (ret).
5. Alexis Gordon (UF) def. Krystel Borg (FAU) 6-0, 6-0.
6. Jennifer Magley (UF) def. Jessica Burrow (FAU) 6-1, 6-0.
1. Magley/Reyes (UF) vs. Dvorakova/Roubickova (FAU) unfinished.
2. Gordon/Rotondi (UF) def. Aguirre-Gomez/Burrow (FAU) 8-3.
3. Dawaf/Scaringe (UF) def. Borg/Rivera (FAU) 8-1.