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Embree concludes her collegiate singles career with a 117-16 overall record

Wednesday May 22, 2013Gator Trio Falls in NCAA Singles; Embree and Oyen Ready for NCAA Doubles Event

Urbana, IL

Embree concludes her collegiate singles career with a 117-16 overall record

Florida senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.), junior Sofie Oyen (Leopoldsburg, Belgium) and junior Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) lost their respective first round matches at the NCAA Singles  Championships on Wednesday at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center.


Embree and Oyen continue action in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships that begins Thursday afternoon. The Gator pair, ranked No. 11 in the country, drew Stanford’s No. 28-ranked Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay in the first round. The two doubles teams did not meet during the NCAA Team Semifinal match, as Embree and Oyen played the No. 1 position and Tan and Tsay the No. 2 spot.


Embree drew a tough opening-round opponent in No. 21 Jacqueline Cako from Arizona State and the Sun Devil put the pressure on the Gator senior throughout the match en route to a 6-3, 6-2 decision.


With Embree receiving, down 6-3, 4-2 and facing game point, a lightening delay followed by a rain storm forced the competitors indoors, where after a 36 minute delay, Cako served out one point for the 5-2 lead and then lost just one point in the next game on Embree, who served back-to-back double-faults in the final two points of the seventh game.


Nine of the final 14 games went to duce in the tight contest and Embree wasn’t without her chances, as Cako played without any pressure against the event’s No. 1 seed. In the second set, Embree was just 1-for-8 in break point chances, while Cako a more efficient 4-of-6.


“I thought Jacqui played extremely well and we didn’t really have the answer for her play deep to our backhand,” UF head coach Roland Thronqvist said. “I felt Lauren played with a little bit of pressure, trying to win this tournament. Jacqui played well and outplayed us.


“I feel bad for Lauren, she had hopes to win another team and perhaps give it a run here in the individual championships but it wasn’t meant to be,” Thornqvist continued. “She’s greatly disappointed now, but when she gets away and thinks back on her career I’m sure she will be very proud, as we all are.”


Embree concludes her tremendous collegiate singles career with a 117-16 overall record, including a 26-3 mark this season.


Her 117 singles wins rank as the 12th most in Gator history, while her career singles winning percentage of 88.0 percent is the third-highest in program history.


“She’s meant a great deal to us,” shared Thornqvist of Embree. “It goes way beyond winning, as well. The way she prepares, practices, trains, it’s really lifted the whole boat for four years. People ask all the time how you replace a player like that, you just don’t. Over time you hope that her footprint lives on and that everyone has learned to train and act like she has.”


Oyen dropped her opening round match, 6-3, 6-4, to TCU’s No. 44 Stefanie Tan. Five of the first six games were breaks and Oyen found herself on the short end of a 4-2 score. She held to bring it to 4-3, but Tan held and broke to close out the first set. She carried that momentum into the second set, where she raced out to a 4-0 lead. Oyen stormed back by winning her four straight games, halting Tan’s six-game run, but Tan held in the ninth game and broke Oyen on last time to earn the straight set decision.


Oyen, who was competing in the NCAA Singles Championships for the second consecutive season, ends her singles season with a 28-9 overall record, while her career ledger stands at 80-25.


Cercone easily played one of the longest matches on either the men’s or women’s side, battling UNLV’s No. 59 Lucia Batta for three hours and 14 minutes before bowing out, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4. The Gator junior, who capped her season with a 26-10 overall singles record and a 92-29 career spot, fended off one match point two hours and 26 minutes into the match in the second set, when she was receiving down 5-4, but came up big to get the break and then held serve in a 14-point game for a 6-5 lead. Batta held serve to force a tiebreaker that Cercone captured by taking control midway through and the match headed to a third set.


Cercone jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second set, before Batta won three straight games to take a 3-2 lead. Cercone held serve on a 14-point game, fighting off one break point, for 3-all. Batta won a quick game on her serve and Cercone’s service game was interrupted three times during long rallies to replay the point after a ball from a neighboring court halted action. The Gator junior couldn’t regroup and lost her serve at love. She dug deep and fought off two more match points in the ninth game and capitalized on her first break point and headed to the baseline aiming to get the set back on serve. Batta, however, won four straight points and took marathon match.



Live scoring and video will be available throughout the event!


NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championships

Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center

Urbana, Ill.


Wednesday, May 21, 2013


First Round (Round of 64) - Gators Only

#21 Jacqueline Cako (ARIZ ST) d. #1 Lauren Embree [1] (FLA), 6-3, 6-2

#44 Stefanie Tan (TCU) d. #17 Sofie Oyen [9-16] (FLA), 6-3, 6-4

#59 Lucia Batta (UNLV) d. #51 Alexandra Cercone (FLA), 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4


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