The top-ranked Florida women’s tennis team won its 19th consecutive regular-season Southeastern Conference match and defeated Ole Miss, 7-0, on Friday afternoon at Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Miss.
The Gators (16-1, 5-0 SEC), who were playing for the first time in 13 days, captured the doubles point against the Lady Rebels (8-6, 1-4 SEC) and received singles wins from Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.), Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.), Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.), Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) and Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) to capture the dual match sweep.
“Overall, I’m very pleased. After a layoff, sometimes you don’t strike the ball as cleanly as you want to, but we always talk about being mentally tough and competing our way through a set and we sure did that today because Ole Miss is a very, very good team,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said.
Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) won her 70th career singles match and gave Florida a 2-0 lead in the team scoring when she earned a convincing 6-1, 6-2 victory against Kristi Boxx on court one. The Gator sophomore improved her career record to 70-8 overall, including 39-2 in dual matches.
Freshman Alex Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) was the next off the court and she walked off with her 25th singles win of the year with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, victory against Vivian Vlaar a the No. 5 position.
The dual match-clinching victory took a bit longer to close, but Embree provided the 6-3, 6-4 decision against Connor Vogel to secure the team win. Individually, the victory was Embree’s 14th consecutive singles win this season, as she has won each time she’s stepped on the court this year and improved her career dual match record to 34-3, including 15-0 versus SEC foes.
“We looked very strong mentally today. I was very impressed with the way we competed,” Thornqvist said. “There were a lot of close matches and a lot of close sets and I thought we managed ourselves five-star. We had three three-setters and looked physically fit in all three. The other matches, with the exception of Allie’s (Will), were very competitive, as well. Allie played at a very high level in beating a player that she lost to in the fall.”
Mather was next off the court, rallying for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Abby Guthrie at the No. 4 position, before Janowicz polished off Gabby Rangel on court six, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, for her eighth consecutive singles victory. Oyen completed the sweep with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Caroline Rohde-Moe, earning her fifth straight win.
Florida won the doubles point for the 15th time this year, jumping out to a quick 1-0 lead. The Gator tandem of Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather blanked Connor Vogel and Gabby Rangel, 8-0, for the first victory of the day. The win was Embree and Mather’s 12th consecutive , as the duo improved to 12-4 this season and 22-5 in their career together.
The relatively new pairing of Alex Cercone and Allie Will continues to be successful, with the tandem earning an 8-4 decision against Kristi Boxx and Abby Guthrie at the No. 1 position and clinched the doubles point. Cercone and Will have won all four matches as a team this year.
Florida returns home and plays host to Mississippi State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. Admission to all regular-season home matches is free.
The Gators have won 98 consecutive regular-season home matches, as well as 89 straight overall at home entering Sunday’s contest, while sporting a 168-1 all-time at home versus SEC opponents.
No. 1 Florida at No. 29 Ole Miss
Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center * Oxford, Miss.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Final Score: Florida 7, Ole Miss 0
1. #4 Alex Cercone/Allie Will, UF d. Kristi Boxx/Abby Guthrie, UM, 8-4*
2. Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather, UF d. Connor Vogel/Gabby Rangel, UM, 8-0
3. Caroline Hitimana/Sofie Oyen, UF led Caroline Rohde-Moe/Vivian Vlaar, UM, 6-3 DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1*
1. #7 Allie Will, UF d. Kristi Boxx, UM, 6-1, 6-2
2. #28 Lauren Embree, UF d. Connor Vogel, UM, 6-3, 6-4*
3. #90 Sofie Oyen, UF d. Caroline Rohde-Moe, UM, 7-6 (5), 6-4
4. #26 Joanna Mather, UF d. Abby Guthrie, UM, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. #45 Alex Cercone, UF d. Vivian Vlaar, UM, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
6. #35 Olivia Janowicz, UF d. Gabby Rangel, UM, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Order of Finish: 1, 5, 2, 4, 6, 3