GAINESVILLE, FL – The third ranked University of Florida women’s tennis team picked up its first win of the 2016 dual match season. Although it did not come easy at times, the gritty, top-ranked Gators defeated the University of South Florida Bulls 6-1 Wednesday at the Ring Tennis Complex in the season opener for the Gators as well.
— Gator Women's Tennis (@GatorsWTN) January 28, 2016
In doubles action, the Gators were able to show not only their experience but also their depth. UF dominated and swept all three doubles matches. This was an excellent showing for the beginning of the season, since head coach Roland Thornqvist previously stated that winning doubles would be imperative to the Gator success down the road. The first Gator duo to win their doubles match was senior Brianna Morgan and newcomer Anna Danilina. Danilina expressed her nervousness to compete in her first dual match as a Gator but also said Morgan’s calm demeanor and leadership helped her through the match. Morgan and Danilina swept USF’s Vera Bessonova and Juliana Cardosa, 6-0. UF’s Spencer Liang and Peggy Porter also secured a doubles victory defeating USF’s Nicole Dzenga and Vanja Klaric, 6-2. Finally, the Gators No.5 ranked doubles team of Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan completed the sweep with a victory over Jessica Chavez and Olga Martinez, 6-4. Florida coach Roland Thornqvist was very impressed by the fight the team displayed and thought the team played really well in doubles.
In singles action Gator fans saw more of the same, with UF taking five matches to USF’s one. Belinda Woolcock displayed a gritty performance, edging out USF’s Olga Martinez 7-5, 6-4. Kourtney Keegan dominated for UF defeating Ana Roman Dominguez 6-3, 6-1. Gator sophomore Josie Kuhlman beat Jessica Cortes Chavez 6-2, 6-1. The other three singles matches included an outstanding 6-0, 6-1 victory for Anna Danilina, a gutsy 6-2, 7-6(6) win for Spencer Liang and a hard fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 loss for Peggy Porter.
Next up the Gators will travel to Tallahassee to face their in-state rival Florida State on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.