Florida women’s tennis routs Stanford 4-1 to win seventh national title

By Adam Silverstein
May 23, 2017
Florida women’s tennis routs Stanford 4-1 to win seventh national title
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Image Credit: UAA

It always comes down to the Florida Gators and Stanford Cardinal. On Tuesday, for the seventh time in program history, it was No. 1 Florida women’s tennis winning a national champion, defeating No. 7 Stanford 4-1 on the home court of UF’s rival in Athens, Georgia.

Competing for a title for the first time since 2012 and 14th time in program history, Florida adds the 2017 crown to titles from 1992, 1996, 1998, 2003 and 2011-12. The Gators have now beaten the Cardinal for the national championship four times (1996, 2003, 2011, 2017) and are 4-6 against Stanford with the title on the line.

Florida opened Tuesday’s match by winning the doubles point and quickly took a 3-0 lead as senior Kourtney Keegan blanked Emma Higuchi (6-0, 6-0) and senior Belinda Woolcock ran through Caroline Doyle (6-1, 6-3).

Junior Brooke Austin had championship point against Emily Arbuthnott that would have resulted in a shutout victory for UF, but Austin dropped it and ultimately gave up her second set to Stanford. That allowed the Cardinal to win a point as Melissa Lord beat junior Josie Kuhlman (6-4, 7-5) and put some pressure on the Gators.

Florida went from one point away from a victory to being down on two of the three remaining courts but rallied to squash what would have been a devastating loss. In the end, it was freshman Ingrid Neel winning consecutive sets over Taylor Davidson to lock up a victory on Court 3 (5-7, 6-3, 6-2) and the Gators’ seventh national championship.

Florida (seven) and Stanford (18) have now combined for 25 of the 36 Division I women’s tennis championships and no program besides them has won more than two titles.

The national championship is also the Gators’ first for the 2016-17 athletic campaign, extending the school’s streak of winning at least one national title to eight seasons. Florida now has 37 national titles as an athletic program.

One Comment

  1. MAR says:

    Awesome. It’s great to be a Florida Gator! Congrats tennis girls!

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