Special to GC
Florida played its best match of the NCAA Championships in defeating Vanderbilt 4-0 at the McWhorter Courts at Dan Magill Tennis Complex on a chilly Thursday evening and advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year.
The Gators, who are making their 28th all-time NCAA Quarterfinal appearance in the 33-year history of the event, came out sharp in doubles and claimed the important first point of the dual match.
Florida then took a quick 3-0 lead after senior Olivia Janowicz won her singles match 6-2, 6-0 in 72 minutes and freshman Belinda Woolcock followed with a 6-2, 6-2 victory two minutes later.
The Gators did win four of the six first sets played, but Vanderbilt battled back and forced a third set on two of those, while Florida countered on the other two courts and moved into a third frame.
With the momentum swinging back and forth, it was sophomore Brianna Morgan who distanced herself in the deciding third set on court one, where she dominated the final frame against Georgina Sellyn to clinch the dual match for the Gators, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Florida (22-5) will play top-seeded, No. 1-ranked and host Georgia (24-4) in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Sat., May 17 at 4 p.m. ET. The Lady Bulldogs won a 4-3 thriller against Southern California in their round of 16 match.