Talking with Florida's Thornqvist and Embree
by Harry Cicma
, 7 June 2012
Follow Harry on Twitter
|Share: || || |
Last month, the University of Florida capped off its second straight NCAA Championship with a win over UCLA. Lauren Embree earned the decisive fourth point that clinched the championship for the second time in as many years.
Harry Cicma, who served as color analyst at the NCAA Championships in Athens, talked with Embree and Gator Head Coach Roland Thornqvist.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): The University of Florida has now won the national championship two years in a row. How does it feel to win it again this year?
Lauren Embree (LE):
Lauren Embree of Florida Clinched for Florida
courtesy, Florida Athletics
It's amazing. I still can't believe it just happened again - to go back to back. I'm just so happy - and so proud of my teammates. Last year, I said it was a dream come true. Now it's another dream come true. Our team has worked so hard, and I feel like we just played so well. I'm just proud of them.
Roland Thornqvist (RT): It's much more difficult to do it the second time around - there's no question about that. I could tell that our "Gator mountains" and grass workouts paid off in the semifinals because we looked fresh in the finals. We looked fresh today - I was happy to see that. We played amazing tennis from start to finish in singles and all three doubles, and I'm really really proud of the team.
HC: How proud are you of Lauren Embree, winning the final match, with all the pressure, and for the title?
RT: The last ten minutes of the match, I was just hoping and thinking - and waiting (laughs). I thought that it was going to come, but those were ten long minutes.
But Lauren had been in this situation before. She always comes through on the big points, and I had all the faith in the world that she was going to come through.
HC: How are you both going to celebrate after this Championship?
LE: Right now we're just taking it all in. I'm not really sure what we'll do, but we'll see.
RT: They are competitors. We'll celebrate with a dinner, let it sink in, and then keep moving forward.
Leave a Comment
More College Coverage
Conversation with UNLV's Owen Hambrook
UNLV's Owen Hambrook is now in his eleventh season as head coach of
the Runnin' Rebels men's tennis program. Hambrook, who led the program
to its first-ever Mountain West championship, took the 2012-13 squad
to a 17-7 overall record and a final ranking of No. 62. NBC's Harry
Cicma caught up with Hambrook to talk tennis, Las Vegas, and
Notre Dame Dominates Ball State in College Match Day Contest
Only hours after a grueling and emotional home loss to top-ranked Ohio
State Saturday afternoon, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish returned to
the Eck Tennis Pavilion courts to sweep Ball State in a nationally
streamed USTA College Match Day contest Saturday evening, rebounding
quickly from the disappointing loss to the Buckeyes.
ITA Format Experiment Comments: Part Two
In part one of my discussion with college coaches, there was little
support for continuing the women's experiment, which featured a match
tiebreaker in lieu of a full third set. In part two below, five more
coaches provide their perspective on the ITA's format experiment, as
does Dustin Taylor, the USTA's National Coach for Collegiate Tennis,
and Mitchell Frank, the University of Virginia's No. 1 player, who is
leading the student-athlete opposition to any change of format.
About Harry Cicma
When it comes to college tennis, Harry Cicma is your man. Cicma
covers tennis and other athletic stories for
writing articles and producing video segments.
He is co-founder and host of World Tennis
a weekly tennis show on NESN, and host of of Tennis Live Radio's
Cicma competed as a junior in USTA/New England and went on to play
college tennis at Rutgers University. As a professional, Cicma
competed at the ATP Newport tournament and the San Jose Siebel Open.
He reached a career-high #75 in the ATP doubles team rankings and
#1262 in the ATP Entry System.
In media, Cicma has run the gamut. He has worked for NBC, CBS, ABC,
ESPN, FOX Sports Net, the Tennis Channel, and World Team Tennis.
Cicma has announced NCAA sports as well as the US Open Tennis
Championships on both TV and radio.