Wednesday February 1, 2012Gators Continue Hot Start With 7-0 Victory Over UCF
University of Florida junior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) continued her remarkable singles run as the top-ranked Gators defeated UCF, 7-0, at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on Wednesday.
“These past few matches I’ve been serving really well which is helping a lot, I’ve been trying to work on being more aggressive and shortening the points a little bit,” Embree said after the match.
Embree posted her second consecutive 6-0, 6-0 singles victory in as many dual matches for the Gators (2-0), who earned their 23rd straight win dating back to last year. For Embree, the win also marked her 43rd straight dual match singles win, as she hasn’t dropped a singles decision in team competition since Feb. 14, 2010 in the National Team Indoor Championships. Embree is 46-3 in her dual match singles career.
“She is moving really well, she’s handling pace well and she has done a lot of hard work and it seems to really be starting to pay off for her,” head coach Roland Thornqvist said about Embree’s impressive play.
“I think now, as opposed to last year at this time, I’m feeling a lot better because last year I was coming off a wrist injury,” Embree explained. “I’m playing better and more confident.”
Embree’s opponent on Wednesday was Genevieve Lorbergs, as the Gator junior gave Florida a 3-0 lead in the team scoring.
Junior Caroline Hitimana (Waterloo, Belgium) also posted a double-bagel in her first dual match singles action of the season, blanking Josephine Haraldson on court six. Hitimana now has 12 consecutive dual match singles wins.
Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) defeated Alexis Rodriguez, 6-4, 6-1, on court two, in the most tightly contested singles match of the evening. The win marks Will’s seventh consecutive singles victory.
Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) defeated Taylor Dubins, 6-1, 6-1, to clinch UF’s second victory of the young season and, to round out the singles, Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) defeated Jenna Doefler, 7-5, 6-0.
The Gators now own a 10-0 record all-time against UCF and 190-33 record over in-state opponents. The win extended the Gators’ match win streak to 23, which is seventh-best in program history.
“I thought we did really well and showed some great athleticism. We made a few mistakes but overall we did pretty well. We were moving well and that’s a big key,” Thornqvist stated. “We went for our shots and even if we missed them, we turned around and played again. We were willing to accept a couple more mistakes than we are accustomed to making for long-term benefits.”
The Gators captured the doubles point in 39 minutes, as the team of Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) and Will closed out their 8-2 win against Genevieve Lorbergs and Alexis Rodriguez on court one, four minutes after the tandem of Embree and Mather topped Jenna Doefler and Courtney Griffith, 8-3 in 35 minutes.
“I thought our doubles were pretty good,” Thornqvist said. “The first 10 to 15 minutes on at least one and two we missed some returns but as soon as we addressed that and settled down a little bit we started making returns and saw our leads grow on both courts.”
Hitimana and Olivia Janowicz (Palm Bay, Fla.) completed the doubles sweep with their 8-4 win against Taylor Dubins and Andrea Yacaman at the number three position.
The match on court two was on-serve through the first seven games until the Gators earned the first break of the match for a 5-3 lead. Mather then held and Florida continued the momentum by winning the remaining games for the first victory of the day. The win marked the 32nd consecutive dual match doubles victory for Embree, who has not dropped a doubles match in team competition since her freshman year when she paired with Mather and fell 9-7 to Ole Miss’ Vogel and Rangel on May 20, 2010 in the NCAA Round of 16.
On court one, Oyen and Will began with a break a love and Will cruised in her service game and gave UF a 2-0 lead. The next four games were holds, with Will serving a love game as part of a 15-point run by the Gators, who emerged with a 7-2 lead. Will held one last time as she served out for the win, as she posted her 14th straight dual match doubles victory.
The Gators next make their first road trip of the 2012 dual match season, traveling to Waco, Texas, to play fifth-ranked Baylor on Saturday. The match begins a monster stretch for Florida, which then returns home to host South Florida on Feb. 7 before traveling to play Pepperdine and second-ranked Stanford in Stanford, Calif., on Feb. 10 and 12, respectively. The Gators then entertain eighth-ranked North Carolina on Feb. 26 and 18th ranked Florida State on Feb. 29.
Women’s College Tennis
No. 1 Florida vs. UCF
Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex
FINAL SCORE: Florida 7, UCF 0
Doubles (order of finish: 2, 1, 3)
1. Sofie Oyen/Allie Will (10), UF d. Genevieve Lorbergs/Alexis Rodriguez, UCF, 8-2*
2. Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (15), UF d. Jenna Doefler/Courtney Griffith, UCF, 8-3
3. Caroline Hitimana/Olivia Janowicz, UF d. Taylor Dubins/Andrea Yacaman, UCF
Singles (order of finish: 6, 1, 4, 5, 3, 2)
1. Lauren Embree (25), UF d. Genevieve Lorbergs, UCF, 6-0, 6-0
2. Allie Will (3), UF d. Alexis Rodriguez, UCF, 6-4, 6-1
3. Joanna Mather (4), UF d. Jenna Doefler, UCF 7-5, 6-0
4. Alexandra Cercone (41), UF d. Taylor Dubins, UCF, 6-1, 6-1*
5. Sofie Oyen (34), UF d. Allison Hodges, UCF, 6-2, 6-1
6. Caroline Hitimana, UF d. Josephine Haraldson, UCF, 6-0, 6-0
RECORDS: Florida 2-0; UCF 1-4
*indicates clinching doubles point/dual match victory
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