UF women’s tennis wins SEC title

The University of Florida women’s tennis team captured the Southeastern Conference overall championship outright with a 4-1 victory against South Carolina at Carolina Tennis Center Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams.

The second-ranked Gators improved to 18-1 overall and a perfect 11-0 in SEC action, extending their regular-season win streak against league foes to 35 and carry their 13-match win streak into the SEC Tournament which gets underway on Thurs., April 19 in Oxford, Miss. Florida earned the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the 12-team event.

Florida actually trailed early in the match against the Gamecocks (14-7, 5-6 SEC), who took the doubles point by winning on Courts 1 and 3.

The Gators, however, stormed back and won the first four singles matches to claim the team victory before the rest of the matches were abandoned once the dual match outcome had been decided.

The Gators have won the SEC regular-season title 26 times in the 33 years the league has sponsored women’s tennis. Florida marched through the regular-season with an undefeated league record (11-0) for the third consecutive season and the 21st time in program history. The Gators have won more SEC women’s tennis crowns than any other women’s team at any school in any sport.

Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather won their doubles match on court two, 8-5, and extended their streak to 16 in a row.  South Carolina captured the decision on the other two courts, halting UF’s run on court one where Sofie Oyen and Allie Will were upset, 8-3, and saw their 14-match run come to an end. SC claimed the doubles point with a 9-8 (7-2) decision on court three against Olivia Janowicz and Caroline Hitimana.

On the singles court, Embree won her 12th straight match with a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Jaklin Alawi and tied the team scoring at 1-all. Mather followed with a similar score on court three and gave UF a 2-1 lead, before Alexandra Cercone posted a 6-2, 6-1 victory on court five for a 3-1 advantage. Will provided the clinching dual match win as she polished off 6-0, 6-3 decision against Anya Morgina on court one and secure the Gator victory.

No. 2 Florida at No. 27 South Carolina

Carolina Tennis Center * Columbia, S.C.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Final Score: Florida 4, South Carolina 1

Doubles (Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3)

1. #67 Alawi/Stojic, USC, def. #1 Allie Will/Sofie Oyen, UF, 8-3

2. #16 Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather, UF, def. Kanakova/Morgina, USC, 8-5

3. Andersson/Pereira, USC, def. Olivia Janowicz/Caroline Hitimana, UF, 9-8 (7-2)

Singles (Order of Finish: 2, 3, 5, 1)

1. #1 Allie Will, UF, def. #40 Anya Morgina, USC, 6-0, 6-3

2. #10 Lauren Embree, UF, def. #85 Jaklin Alawi, USC, 6-1, 6-1

3. #21 Joanna Mather, UF, def. Dominika Kanakova, USC, 6-1, 6-1

4. #88 Dijana Stojic, USC, vs. #48 Sofie Oyen, UF, 4-6, 2-3 susp.

5. #73 Alexandra Cercone, UF, def. Adriana Pereira, USC, 6-2, 6-1

6. Josefin Andersson, USC, vs. #123 Caroline Hitimana, UF, 2-6, 1-1 susp.

Records: Florida 18-1, 11-0 SEC; South Carolina 14-7, 5-6 SEC

Courtesy UF Communications