After another dominating performance, Allie Will calmly and cooly walked over to shake hands with Caroline Rohde Moe as if she didn’t realize she won her 100th singles match.
That’s because she wasn’t keeping track.
“I did not know that. That’s great news,” Will said about win No. 100. “I’ve had a lot of good matches here at home and I have not lost a match here at home so the crowd must be doing something right, It’s a privilege to be here so I’m just happy that I was able to get 100 wins and hopefully I’ll have a few more before the year is over.”
Will won the first 11 games before Rohde Moe stole one and Will won 6-0, 6-1, in a match that clinched the 6-1 win for second-ranked Florida against 19th-ranked Ole Miss. It was also Florida’s 103rd straight home victory.
“I think our play showed that there’s room for improvement in a lot of our players,” said UF coach Roland Thornqvist. “I think everybody feels good about that but a lot of credit goes to Ole Miss. They did a few things that bothered us and I feel like we know what we need to get better at. We just have to keep hammering away.”
The Gators were able to sweep the doubles’ matches. Third-ranked Will and Sofie Oyen were victorious in a match-up of two of the top-five doubles teams. Will and Oyen
downed the fifth-ranked duo of Kristi Boxx and Abby Gutherie, 8-3. The 11th-ranked pair of Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather were victorious against Erin Stephens and Gabby Rangel, 8-4. To complete the doubles sweep, Alex Cercone and Olivia Janowicz took care of Iris Verboven and Julia Jones, 8-6.
In singles’ play, Mather was the first to finish after edging Stephens, 6-3, 6-3. Embree gave the Gators a 3-0 lead after defeating Boxx, 6-3, 6-2. Oyen suffered her first singles’ loss of the spring in a heartbreaking 7-5, 7-5 loss to Guthrie.
Both Cercone and Caroline Hitimana jumped out to take the first set 6-2 only to drop the next set 2-6 and 3-6, respectively. Cercone cruised in the third set to complete the 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win against Jones. Hitimana meanwhile finished off Vivian Vlarr 10-1 in the final set due to the game being clinched for Florida. Both matches showed off the endurance of Cercone and Hitimana as they each lasted for more than two hours.
“Because we’re in Florida and it’s like 85 degrees and all the players are not used to it,” said Hitimana about the advantage the Gators have in long matches. “I think it’s always good when it’s a long match. Other players get tired and we’re still there. We still fight as hard as we can and I think we’re the favored team.”
The Gators will head out to Alabama for their next two games. They take on Auburn on Friday and Alabama on April 1.
“I thought we handled those players (Auburn’s) last year fairly easily here.” Thornqvist said. “We’re obviously going to have to play well since this is on the road and the SEC. Hopefully we can play really good doubles at Auburn which would help us then at Alabama because Alabama they’re really good at doubles.
No. 19 Mississippi at No. 2 Florida
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex * Gainesville, Fla
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Final Score: Florida 6, Mississippi State 1
1. Sofie Oyen/Allie Will (3), UF d. Kristi Boxx/Abby Guthrie (5), UM, 8-3
2. Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (11), UF d. Erin Stephens/Gabby Rangel, UM, 8-4
3. Alexandra Cercone/Olivia Janowicz (52), UF d. Iris Verboven/Julia Jones, UM, 8-6
1. Lauren Embree (14), UF d. Kristi Boxx (12), UM, 6-3, 6-3
2. Allie Will (1), UF d. Caroline Rohde Moe (72), UM, 6-0, 6-1
3. Joanna Mather (19), UF d. Erin Stephens, UM, 6-3, 6-2
4. Alexandra Cercone (62), UF d. Julia Jones, UM, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
5. Abby Guthrie, UM d. Sofie Oyen (39), UF, 7-5, 7-5
6. Carolina Hitimana, UF d. Vivian Vlaar, UM, 6-2, 3-6, (10-1)
Gator Country reporter Sara Ladwig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org