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Allie Will improved to 11-0 in singles action this year.

Sunday February 12, 2012Women's Tennis Drops Battle of Top Teams, Falls at No. 2 Stanford, 5-2

Stanford, CA

Allie Will improved to 11-0 in singles action this year.

The top-ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team dropped a 5-2 decision at second-ranked Stanford Sunday afternoon at Taube Family Tennis Center on the Stanford University campus.

 

In what was one of the most anticipated regular-season matches in recent years, the Cardinal (4-0) snapped the Gator’s 26-match winning streak that dated back to Feb. 21, 2011, when Stanford defeated Florida, 4-2, in the ITA National Team Indoor Final. That was also the last time the Gators (5-1) had lost the doubles point prior to losing it on Sunday.

 

Sunday’s outing was a rematch of last year’s NCAA Team Championship Final played at Stanford on May 24, when Florida stunned the then-top-ranked Cardinal, 4-3, ending their NCAA-record 184-match home winning streak.

 

“We got beat by a better team today,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “Stanford was the more aggressive team in doubles and took early leads on courts one and two. They are a very good front-running team. The crowd was excellent and it was a great atmosphere. I thought we fought really hard. I was very happy with the way we fought with our composure and our body language even though they were storming out of the gates. I think we did all the little things as well as we could. We learned a lot. We lost to a better team today and I have to say congratulations to Stanford, they did an outstanding job.”

 

Stanford swept all three doubles matches, before top-ranked Mallory Burdette earned a 6-1, 6-2 win against 25th-ranked Lauren Embree for a 2-0 lead in the team scoring.

 

Veronica Li then followed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against sophomore Olivia Janowicz, who had entered the match riding  22-match singles win streak in dual match competition, and the Gators found themselves staring at a 3-0 team deficit.

 

Court three provided the clinching decision, as Stacey Tan ended any thoughts of another Gator rally with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 decision over Florida senior Joanna Mather.

 

Sofie Oyen provided Florida with its first team point and won her ninth consecutive singles match, as she downed Ellen Tsay, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4) on court five.

 

UF’s Alexandra Cercone lost her third set that was played as a 10-point super since the dual match had been clinched, falling to Kristie Ahn, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4) and losing for the first time this season in team play.

 

Junior Allie Will, ranked No. 3 nationally in singles, ended the dual match on a high note for Florida, defeating fifth-ranked Nicole Gibbs, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Will extended her season-opening win streak to 11, while improving her career singles record to 94-10 overall and 56-3 in dual match action.

 

The two elite women’s tennis programs opted to schedule a regular-season meeting against each other for the first time in 19 years, when Stanford traveled to Gainesville on March 24, 1993. The teams had met 28 prior times before Sunday’s match and it was just the third planned opportunity between the two national powers. Stanford will play Florida next year in Gainesville during the regular season.

 

The Gators next take a break from competition before playing host to North Carolina on Sun., Feb. 26 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex, where first serve is scheduled for 1 p.m. Florida enters that match sporting a program-record 98-match home winning streak.

 

Women’s College Tennis

No. 1 Florida at No. 2 Stanford

Taube Family Tennis Center * Stanford, Calif.

 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

 

Final Score: Stanford 5, Florida 2

 

Doubles (order of finish: 2, 1, 3)

1. Mallory Burdette/Nicole Gibbs (1), SU d. Alexandra Cercone/Allie Will, UF 8-3*

2. Stacey Tan/Ellen Tsay, SU d. Lauren Embree/Sofie Oyen,UF 8-3

3. Kristie Ahn/Veronica Li, SU d. Caroline Hitimana/Joanna Mather, UF 8-6

 

Singles (order of finish: 2, 6, 3, 5, 4, 1)

1. Allie Will (3), UF d. Nicole Gibbs (5), SU, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4

2. Mallory Burdette (1), SU d. Lauren Embree (25), UF, 6-1, 6-2

3. Stacey Tan, SU d. Joanna Mather (4), UF, 7-6 (5), 6-3*

4. Kristie Ahn, SU d. Alexandra Cercone (41), UF, 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (4)

5. Sofie Oyen (34), UF d. Ellen Tsay (31), SU 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (1)

6. Veronica Li, SU d. Olivia Janowicz, UF, 6-3, 6-4

 

Updated Records: Florida 5-1; Stanford 4-0

 

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