The accomplishments of Florida Gators women’s tennis border on insanity. It has won six national titles, appeared in 34 of 35 possible NCAA Tournaments, won 29 of 35 SEC Championships and captured 20 of 29 SEC Tournament titles. To call these women dominant is actually an understatement, and preeminence is certainly going to have some absurd statistics come along with it.
Friday was a rare low point for the Florida women’s tennis program as it was soundly defeated 4-1 by Georgia at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Florida. On the surface, that loss is not the end of the world, particularly as it’s the Gators’ first of the 2017 season. But it was a lot more meaningful than that.
Entering Friday, Florida women’s tennis had won 163 consecutive matches at home, which as the program notes is the “longest active streak of any NCAA Division I team in any sport of any gender in the country.” The Gators had not lost at home since May 15, 2004, and began their winning streak on Jan. 22, 2005.
In terms of regular-season victories, Florida had a perhaps even more impressive 159-game winning streak that dated back to Jan. 25, 2003. UGA actually handed UF its last home loss on April 7, 2002. That was also the last time the Gators dropped a contest to an SEC opponent at home, a streak that almost hit triple digits at 97 straight matches. Florida points out that Georgia is the only SEC team — ever — to beat the Gators in Gainesville with their record now at 205-2 all-time at home.
Losing to No. 6 Georgia will not ultimately affect No. 1 Florida in the grand scheme of its season, but the defeat is undeniably a tough one to swallow. The Gators (13-1, 3-1 SEC) have nine regular-season matches remaining and face No. 19 Tennessee at home on Sunday.