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Lauren Embree

Thursday May 24, 2012UF's Embree and Will Advance at NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championships

Athens, GA

Lauren Embree

Florida’s Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) and Allie Will (Boca Raton, Fla.) won their respective singles matches in straight sets on the second day of play at the 2012 NCAA Singles Championships on Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.


Gator senior Joanna Mather (Duluth, Ga.) and sophomore Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) came up short in their respective round of 32 singles matches.


Embree defeated Maryland’s Cristina Stancu, 6-2, 6-2 and advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, where she will play Duke’s No. 2-seeded Beatrice Capra on Friday at 11 a.m.


With three straight breaks early in the first set, Embree came out ahead 3-2 and was able to win the remaining games to close out the first set. She jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second behind a pair of breaks, before Stancu was able to get on the board with a break of her own. The Gator All-American came right back with a break and held for a 5-1 lead. Stancu held, but Embree served out for her 20th consecutive singles victory and improved to 31-5 this year and 91-12 in her career.


“I got off to a much better start today than I did yesterday,” Embree said. “I played a little bit more aggressive. Overall, I was happy with how I played. I thought my forehand was lot better than it has been, which is good for me because the more I can attack with my forehand the easier points I’ll have. I feel good and I’m ready for tomorrow.”


Will earned a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 victory against Southern California’s No. 26-ranked Sabrina Santamaria and advanced to the third round to play Georgia State’s No. 37-ranked Abigail Tere-Apisah on Friday at 11:30 a.m.


Will’s entire match was a grind, with just three breaks in a long first set, as the Gator junior was able to break in the ninth game and served out for the first set. There was just one break in the second set and Will was the benefactor of it, taking the lead in the seventh game and holding for a 5-3 lead, eventually serving out for the win after turning away four break points and capitalizing on her second match point. Will improved to 107-12 in her career, including 24-2 this year.


“I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday,” Will said. “I got a little tight closing it out but that was partially because of her because she hit a lot of balls and hit them really deep. I’m just happy about today. I used my forehand a lot more today and forced myself to come forward and come to net and that’s really big for me to come out of my comfort zone like that.”


For Mather, her collegiate singles career came to a close on Thursday, when she dropped a tough 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Stanford’s No. 3-ranked Nicole Gibbs. The Gator senior jumped out a 5-1 lead and later held at love to take the first frame. The only break in the second set was at Mather’s expense I the 10th game, where she was able to turn away two break points, but not a third and was unable to capitalize on her only game point. Mather wasn’t deterred and raced out to a 3-0 lead, up two breaks in the third set before the wear and tear of having played her 10th match in eight days caught up with her. Gibbs won the final six games to take the win.


Mather caps an outstanding singles career with a 105-32 overall record, including a 34-7 mark this year, as well as a 65-13 ledger in dual match competition.


“She’s an amazing warrior,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist praised. “This tournament is a little unfortunate for those who advance deep in the team event. Jo was up 3-0 in the third set and hit the wall. There wasn’t really much she could do. She’s such a fighter. You have to give credit to Nicole because she kept the ball in play. She played very, very smart. I think she sensed that Jo fatigued and there was really nothing we could do. I felt bad for Joanna. She’s given her heart to this program for four years and she certainly went out like a warrior.”


Oyen dropped a tough 6-3, 6-0 decision to Southern California’s No. 26-ranked Sabrina Santamaria in her second round match. The Gator sophomore ranked No. 61 in the country and was playing in the NCAA Singles Championships for the first time in her career, capped her second collegiate season with a 31-5 singles record, as well as a 61-12 career mark.


Embree and Mather looked fresh and sharp in their first round match of the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships Thursday night, when the Gator pair defeated Northwestern’s No. 28-ranked duo of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton, 6-0, 6-1.


“I think we were pumped to play our first round,” Mather shared. “This is the first time Lauren and I have played together in this tournament so we’re excited about that and I’m glad it went well today. We started out the match really well and I think that frustrated them. At the end they picked it up so it was a good first round for us.”


Embree and Mather advance to the NCAA Round of 16 where they face California’s fifth-ranked Annie Goransson and Anett Schutting on Friday at 4:30 p.m.


Oyen and Will weren’t as fortunate, as they bowed out to Baylor’s No. 13-ranked Ema Burgic and Nina Secerbegovic, 7-5, 6-2, in the first round.



NCAA Women’s Singles & Doubles Championships

Dan Magill Tennis Complex * Athens, Ga.


Thursday, May 24, 2012


NCAA Singles Second Round (32)

#1 Allie Will (1), FLORIDA def. #19 Danielle Lao, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, 6-4, 6-4

#37 Abigail Tere-Apisah, GEORGIA STATE def. #57 Kata Szekely, TENNESSEE, 6-3, 6-4

#6 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar (7), TEXAS A&M def. #31 Joelle Kissell, NORTH CAROLINA STATE, 6-2, 6-0

#29 Petra Niedermayerova, KANSAS STATE def. #16 Diana Nakic (9-16), BAYLOR, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

#3 Nicole Gibbs (3), STANFORD def. #21 Joanna Mather, FLORIDA, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

#35 Natalie Pluskota, TENNESSEE def. #50 Lacey Smyth, ARIZONA, 5-7, 6-1, 7-5

#8 Jana Juricova (6), CALIFORNIA def. #56 Sona Novakova, BAYLOR, 6-4, 6-1

#40 Aeriel Ellis, TEXAS def. #45 Anya Morgina, SOUTH CAROLINA, 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-0

#23 Nina Secerbegovic, BAYLOR def. #32 Brynn Boren, TENNESSEE, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4

#26 Sabrina Santamaria, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA def. #61 Sofie Oyen, FLORIDA, 6-3, 6-0

#13 Zsofi Susanyi (9-16), CALIFORNIA def. #24 Mary Anne Macfarlane, ALABAMA, 6-0, 7-5

#4 Robin Anderson (4), UCLA  def. #36 Natalie Beazant, RICE, 6-4, 6-4

#14 Zoe Scandalis (9-16), SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA def. #18 Anna Bartenstein, MIAMI, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

#5 Mallory Burdette (5), STANFORD def. #17 Denise Dy, Washington, 6-1, 6-2

#9 Lauren Embree (9-16), FLORIDA def. #28 Cristina Stancu, Maryland, 6-2, 6-2

#2 Beatrice Capra (2), DUKE def. #43 Lindsey Hardenbergh, Virginia, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1



NCAA Doubles First Round (32)

#13 Ema Burgic-Nina Secerbegovic, Baylor def. #1 Sofie Oyen-Allie Will (1), Florida, 7-5, 6-2

Alexa Guarachi-Courtney McLane, Alabama def. #35 Maria Belaya-Jeltje Loomans, William and Mary, 7-6(2), 6-3

#8 Kristy Frilling-Shannon Mathews (5-8), Notre Dame vs. #24 Stacey Tan-Ellen Tsay, Stanford

#9 Courtney Dolehide-Pamela Montez, UCLA def. #19 Samantha Adams-Kenna Kilgo, Texas Tech, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

#11 Emina Bektas-Brooke Bolender, Michigan def. #3 Kaitlyn Christian-Sabrina Santamaria (4), Southern California, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2

#27 Nadja Gilchrist-Chelsey Gullickson, Georgia def. #17 Beatrice Capra-Rachel Kahan, Duke, 6-2, 7-5

#15 Jana Juricova-Zsofi Susanyi, California def. #7 Kristi Boxx-Abby Guthrie (5-8), Mississippi, 7-6(3), 6-4

#30 Lauren Mira-Jackie Wu, Vanderbilt def. #25 Marie-Pier Huet-Whitney Ritchie, Oklahoma

#22 Lauren Embree-Joanna Mather, Florida def. #28 Linda Abu Mushrefova-Nida Hamilton, Northwestern, 6-0, 6-1

#5 Annie Goransson-Anett Schutting (5-8), California def, #21 Mary Clayton-Ester Goldfeld, Duke, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7)

#18 Emily Fraser-Lindsey Hardenbergh, Virginia  def. #42 Millie Nichols-Olivia Smith, TCU, 6-2, 7-6(3)

#10 Natalie Pluskota-Kata Szekely, Tennessee def. #4 Shinann Featherston-Lauren McHale (3), North Carolina, 7-6(2), 6-3

#32 Lorraine Guillermo-Khunpak Issara, Pepperdine def. #29 Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar-Sun Wen, Texas A&M, 6-4, 6-2

#23 Alex Anghelescu-Jillian O’Neill, Georgia Tech def. #33 Ana Belzunce-Welma Luus, Maryland, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5

#26 Natalie Beazant-Dominique Harmath, Rice def. #41 Antonia Foehse-Mary Anne Macfarlane, Alabama, 6-1, 6-4

#2 Mallory Burdette-Nicole Gibbs (2), Stanford def. #50 Hilary Bartlett-Lindsay Graff, Princeton, 6-1, 6-1


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