The second-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team competed on the road for the first time this season and dropped its first dual match, falling to fourth-ranked Duke, 4-0, at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, N.C.
The loss halted the Gators’ overall win streak at 25, dating back to last year when the team lost 5-2 at Stanford on Feb. 12, 2012. That also was the last time Florida (3-1) dropped the doubles point, which it did on Sunday, as Duke (7-1) captured wins on courts three and two, with the clincher decided in a tiebreak.
“We had plenty of chances to win the doubles point and we won four first sets in singles,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Duke was the better team at the end of sets. They played with great passion and had a great crowd. I thought they were the better team today. Our job now is to forget it and play again tomorrow at a high level. Even though we lost this one, this trip is exactly what we need. We need quality opponents. Our team will continue to improve with these quality matches that we’re playing.”
The Gators will need to regroup quickly, as they play at No. 1 North Carolina on Monday in Raleigh at 2 p.m.
Florida’s Lauren Embree and Sofie Oyen did capture an 8-4 win against Duke’s seventh-ranked Mary Clayton and Ester Goldfeld on court one after the Blue Devils began the match with an 8-4 decision on court three. In the deciding doubles-point match, Alexandra Cercone and Brianna Morgan held a 6-4 lead before Annie Mulholland and Marianne Jodoin won three straight games to take the 7-6 lead. The teams then held in the next three games en route to the tiebreak that Duke won 7-3.
Florida jumped out and won the first game on all six singles courts, with Embree, Cercone, Morgan and Olivia Janowicz able to win their respective first sets.
Duke, however, took a 2-0 lead in the team scoring when Monica Turewicz defeated Danielle Collins, 6-4, 7-5 on court four.
Court two was the next to finish and Ester Goldfeld knocked off Oyen, 6-4, 7-5, and gave the Blue Devils a 3-0 advantage.
With Embree and Morgan just dropping their second sets and their matches entering a third, Marianna Jodoin was able to hand Janowicz a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 loss and clinch the win for Duke.
Courtesy of UF Communications