The Gators (1-0, 0-0 SEC) took command of Sunday’s dual match early, earning a clean sweep in doubles action to secure the point. Emma Shelton and Sophie Williams made quick work of USF’s (0-1, 0-0 AAC) Sierra Berry and Ireland Simme, downing the Bulls on court three, 6-2.
On the top court, Alicia Dudeney and Carly Briggs pulled-away from Grace Schumacher and Margriet Timmermans for a 6-3 victory and the important doubles point.
In singles competition, the Gators were focused as well, picking up five of six singles victories. On the top court, Briggs completed a perfect day with a strong 6-1, 6-2 performance over Grace Schumacher, while Shelton took care of business on court six, downing Timmermans in straight-set, 6-3, 6-1.
Leading the match as a team, 3-1, all eyes went to court two where Dudeney was matched-up with Laura Pellicer. The United Kingdom native defeated Pellicer in a strong 6-1, 6-3 effort to clinch the match for the Orange & Blue.
The Gators weren’t done with the victories, however, as freshman Rachel Gailis earned her first-career dual match triumph at four singles, defeating Cliona Walsh. Gailis found herself in a battle early, holding on for a 7-5 opening-set win, before running away with a 6-1 second set. Also earning her first dual match victory was Emily De Oliveira on court five. The sophomore quickly found herself down a set to Marta Falceto, but bounced-back with a hard-earned 7-5 second set. She remained composed in the 10-point tiebreaker for the match, claiming a 10-4 victory.
Florida’s focus will now turn to ITA Kickoff Weekend where they’ll meet Arizona in the opening round in College Station, Texas. The match is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. ET.
Quotes from the Court
Head Coach Roland Thornqvist
On Sunday’s competition…
“I’m really pleased with our effort today and we were excellent in doubles. This team has a chance to really excel in doubles and today we were clinical. Our veteran players, overall, did a really good job helping our youngsters throughout the day by being positive and encouraging while helping us play tough. We had to problem-solve on a few courts and it was just a great opening round for the Gators against a tough South Florida team.”
On Emily De Oliveira’s comeback…