Tennis
The Florida Gators Women's Tennis team defeated Florida State University on February 9, 2023. (Photo by Gabriella Whisler/UAA Communications)

No. 21 Gators Women’s Tennis Handles No.32 South Carolina on Road

The 21st ranked Florida women’s tennis team defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia Saturday afternoon. The victory gave the Gators a first SEC road win of the season and fourth consecutive win over South Carolina.

Strong Doubles Play

The duo of Carly Briggs and Rachel Gailis would be the first to strike for Florida. The pair saw themselves in a tight match at 3-3, but were able to hold serve then break for a 5-3 lead. They would serve out the set to give Florida the first doubles match.

Emily De Olivera and Sophie Williams would be put in a spot to clinch the doubles point for the Orange and Blue. After getting an early break to go up 2-1, the Gators would cruise for the rest of the match to clinch the doubles point.

Singles

The number seven player in the country Ayana Akli didn’t waste anytime for the Gamecocks. After an impressive first set 6-2 victory over Carly Briggs, she would cruise in the second set to win the match 6-2, 6-1. With the score tied 1-1, the Gators would respond.

Emily De Olivera went down 3-0 early in the opening set, but reeled off six consecutive games to take the first set 6-3. The sophomore would continue her dominance in the second set and would win the match 6-3, 6-1.

On court two, the Gamecocks would put out another top 15 player in number 14 Sarah Hamner. The match would prove to be number 119 Sara Dahlstrom’s biggest win of her career and an important one for the Gators. The junior found herself down 4-2 in the second set after taking the first 6-2. Dahlstrom would show her grit and win four consecutive games to put the Gators up 3-1.

Shortly after, Alicia Dudeney would continue the trend of straight set victories for Florida. A comfortable 6-2 first set victory saw her bring confidence into the second set. Dudeney would squander two match points at 5-4, before eventually taking the set 7-5 and clinching the win for the Gators.

Next Up

Florida will return home to host Vanderbilt and Kentucky on Friday and Sunday at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

About Jake Bower

Sophomore journalism major at the University of Florida.

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