Scott Stricklin

Florida Women’s Tennis Falls to No. 2 Texas A&M to Begin SEC Play

Though the Florida women’s tennis team put up a good fight, number 24 Florida could not pull off the upset over number two Texas A&M on Friday. With the 5-2 loss, the team fell to a 5-3 overall record, with both of their SEC losses coming against the Aggies.

A Strong Start

Despite international sophomores Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee quickly dropping the first doubles match 6-0, the Gators were able to rally. Carly Briggs and Rachel Gailis were able to even the score at 1-1 with a 7-5 victory on Court 2.

The final match was where things got interesting. UF’s Sophie Williams and Emily De Oliveira were down 5-6, in danger of losing the doubles point and putting the Gators at an 0-1 disadvantage entering singles. They were down, but they were not out. They eliminated errors and surged back, evening the scoreboard at 6-6 and eventually emerging from the tiebreak victorious.

1-0 Gators.

The Wheels Fall Off

A 1-0 lead is the best a team can ask for when heading into singles. Most of the time, the lead imbues the team with confidence, and they look to continue to dominate through the rest of the match.

Texas A&M had other plans.

When singles began, A&M’s Jayci Goldsmith turned the momentum around completely with a decisive win over De Oliveira, 6-2, 6-1. Despite Gailis securing an equally dominant 6-2, 6-0 victory for the Gators, the outlook was beginning to look less than optimistic.

UF had a 2-1 team lead, but the Gators were trailing by a set on all four of the remaining courts. When squaring off with the number two team in the nation, it’s difficult enough to get one comeback win, let alone two.

Unfortunately for Florida, A&M closed out each of the remaining singles matches to win by a team score of 5-2.

What’s Next

The Gators will have a quick turnaround โ€” they will be duking it out in another SEC home match up against LSU on Sunday. That match is set to begin at 1 p.m.


About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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