Florida Women’s Tennis Plays For National Championship After Semi-Final Win Over Vandy

Twice during the season, once in the regular season and once in the SEC Tournament, the Florida women’s tennis team lost to Vanderbilt.   But when it counted most, at the NCAA Tournament semi-finals, the Gators rose up and beat Vandy 4-2 to move to the championship round.

Florida will play Stanford; the Cardinal punched their ticket to the championship in the semifinals with a 4-3 win over Ohio State.  UF beat Stanford 4-1 earlier this season.  The Gators will be going for their seventh national title in program history; the last time they won it was in 2012.

The Gators started off strong in doubles. The duo of Anna Danilina and Ingrid Neel led the Gators to their first win in doubles with a 6-1 win over Vandy’s top ranked Astra Sharma and Emily Smith and UF clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win. Florida’s Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan provided thes win over Vanderbilt’s Sydney Campbell and Emma Kurtz.

In singles, it was a different story.  The Commodores got singles wins to go up 2-1 but Danilina won her set to tie the match at 2-2 and lorida’s Belinda Woolcock won at number one singles to give the Gators a 3-2 lead.  Brooke Austin won her singles match 6-2, 6-3 that clinched it for the Gators.

Florida’s next battle against Stanford won’t be any easier as Stanford looks to defend the title it won last year.

The Gators and Cardinals have a familiar history when facing each other in the NCAA Finals. Tonight’s match will be Florida’s eighth meeting with Stanford in an NCAA women’s tennis final; last year, Florida lost to the Cardinal in the round of 16 4-3.

If Florida defeats Stanford this evening the Florida women’s tennis program will have clinched their seventh NCAA tennis title and it would add to the Florida athletic program’s streak of winning a national title in at least one sport for the past eight years.

Florida-Stanford will take place at 5pm this evening in Athens, Georgia. The game will be aired on ESPNU.

 

 

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