Florida’s first tournament of the season took place in Cary, North Carolina this past weekend in the Duke Bonk Invite, as junior Josie Kuhlman and senior Belinda Woolcock both won singles titles.
Coming off a season that saw Florida go undefeated in Southeastern Conference play and finish the year ranked #1 in the nation, this season got off to a hot start. Along with Kuhlman and Woolcock, three Gators fell in the finals, all in either three sets or while dropping a tiebreak.
Head coach Roland Thornqvist said his players actually played better in competition than in practice.
The results went as follows:
Singles – Finals
RED Draw: Alexa Graham, UNC defeated No. 26 Kourtney Keegan (UF), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
GOLD: No. 31 Jessie Aney (UNC) defeated No. 43 Anna Danilina (UF), 7-6 (2), 6-3
YELLOW: No. 9 Belinda Woolcock (UF) defeated No. 57 Donika Bashota (TCU), 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
BLUE: No. 89 Josie Kuhlman (UF) defeated Maci Epstein (Miami), 6-3, 6-3
BLACK: Meible Chi (Duke) defeated Peggy Porter (UF), 7-6 (4), 6-2
WHITE: Spencer Liang (UF) defeated Adriana Reami (NC State), 6-2, 6-2
All six of the Gators who competed in the Duke Bonk Invite, only seniors or juniors, split equally three and three.
Next for Florida is the Riviera All-American Championships in California, the first of the Collegiate Grand Slam events, starting on October 1st with prequalifying. The main draw runs from October 6-9.
Thornqvist gave sixth-ranked Brooke Austin the weekend off, as she missed a lot of school competing in the US Open earlier this month, Austin competed in doubles with teammate Kourtney Keegan and fell in the first round in straight sets. Austin, a junior, will compete in the Riviera All-American Championships.
With Austin (#6) and Woolcock (#9), Florida is the only team in the nation with two top-10 singles players.