The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The No. 1 Florida women’s tennis team usually experiences the former, but not in Stanford, Calif., on Sunday. The Gators’ 26-game winning streak came to an end in a 5-2 loss against the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (4-0).
“We got beat by a better team today,” UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Stanford was the more aggressive team in doubles and took early leads on courts one and two. They are a very good front-running team. The crowd was excellent and it was a great atmosphere. I thought we fought really hard. I was very happy with the way we fought with our composure and our body language even though they were storming out of the gates.
“I think we did all the little things as well as we could. We learned a lot. We lost to a better team today and I have to say congratulations to Stanford, they did an outstanding job.”
There were a few bright spots for the Gators. In a battle of Top 5 competitors, third-ranked Allie Will faced fifth-ranked Nicole Gibbs. Will was triumphant (6-4, 6-2, 6-4) remained unbeaten in singles play. Sofie Oyen fought back after dropping the first set 2-6 to Ellen Tsay and would win the next two sets 6-4, 1-0 (1).
Top-ranked Mallory Burdette would be too much for Florida’s Lauren Embree, winning 6-1, 6-2. Joanna Mather lost a hard-fought first set 7-6 (5) to Stacey Tan and would lose the second set 6-3. Alex Cercone won her first set 2-6 to Kristie Ahn but would come back and win the second set 6-4. The third set was decided in a 10-point super because Stanford clinched the win, which Ahn would win 1-0 (4). Olivia Janowicz loss to Veronica Li, 6-3, 6-4.
The Gators dropped all of their doubles matches. Burdette and Gibbs would win 8-3 against Cercone and Will. Embree and Oyen would also fall 8-3 to Tan Tsay. Caroline Hitimana and Mather didn’t have enough to overcome Ahn and Li and would lose 8-6.
The Gators get a long break before returning to action at 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 against North Carolina. The club will look to get its 99th straight home win.
Women’s College Tennis
No. 1 Florida at No. 2 Stanford
Taube Family Tennis Center * Stanford, Calif.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Final Score: Stanford 5, Florida 2
1. Mallory Burdette/Nicole Gibbs (1), SU d. Alexandra Cercone/Allie Will, UF, 8-3
2. Stacey Tan/Ellen Tsay, SU d. Lauren Embree/Sofie Oyen,UF, 8-3
3. Kristie Ahn/Veronica Li, SU d. Caroline Hitimana/Joanna Mather, UF, 8-6
1. Allie Will (3), UF d. Nicole Gibbs (5), SU, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4
2. Mallory Burdette (1), SU d. Lauren Embree (25), UF, 6-1, 6-2
3. Stacey Tan, SU d. Joanna Mather (4), UF, 7-6 (5), 6-3
4. Kristie Ahn, SU d. Alexandra Cercone (41), UF, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4)
5. Sofie Oyen (34), UF d. Ellen Tsay (31), SU 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (1)
6. Veronica Li, SU d. Olivia Janowicz, UF, 6-3, 6-4
Gator Country reporter Sara Ladwig can be reached at email@example.com.