Emily De Oliveira
ITA Regionals Final Photo by Kitty Stoll

Gators Emily De Oliveira Wins ITA Southeast Regional

The Gators women’s tennis team saw success at home over the weekend. Emily De Oliveira claimed the singles title over fellow Gator Rachel Gailis in the ITA Southeast Regional. Freshman doubles duo Qavia Lopez and Malwina Rowinska made it to the semifinals where they fell to Xinyi Nong and Isabella Pfennig of the University of Miami.

Main Draw Action

Seven Gators saw action in the main draw on Friday and six advanced to the next round. The most dominant first round performer was Carly Briggs who did not lose a single game as she took down Janet Imbo Nloga of Bethune-Cookman in straight sets. Briggs, a graduate student who began her collegiate tennis career at Tennessee, made it all the way to the quarterfinals before falling to De Oliveira in three sets.

Of the six that advanced to the second round, five more advanced to round three. During this round, Lopez, one of the top ranked recruits of 2023, took the first set over Kylie Bilchev of Georgia Tech, but Bilchev bounced back claiming the last two to eliminate Lopez.

De Oliveira and Gailis both downed their semifinal opponents in straight sets to face each other in the finals. De Oliveira took the first set 6-3, but Gailis rallied back to take the second, 6-4. In a decisive third set De Oliveira snagged the win, 7-5.

Gaining Confidence

This is a momentum shift for the Gators as they continue their fall season. There is a lot of talent on this team that is continuing to improve week in and week out. At their last tournament, the ITA All-American Championships in Cary, North Carolina, Florida did not see much success. Carly Briggs was the only Gator to take the court in the main draw, but she lost in the first round in three sets to Celia-Belle Mohr of Vanderbilt.

More to Come

Next up, the team will compete in the Norman 15k in Norman, Oklahoma, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 5. The team will compete in several more off season tournaments throughout the fall and winter to prepare for the upcoming regular season.

About Shelby Hickman

Shelby Hickman is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism with a specialization in sports and media.

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