No. 2 Florida Gators women’s tennis completed a four-peat for the fourth time in program history on Sunday by capturing a share of the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championship with a 4-1 victory against the No. 18 Vanderbilt Commodores on the road in Nashville, TN.
The Gators (19-2, 11-1 SEC) picked up their fourth SEC regular-season title in as many seasons and have now won seven in the last eight years. UF has captured 27 league titles in the 34 years that the SEC has sanctioned women’s tennis as a conference sport, making it the most successful women’s team in any sport in league history.
Florida is splitting the title three ways with No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Georgia. UF fell 4-3 to TAMU but beat UGA 4-1. The Bulldogs took down the Aggies 4-2.
As has been a habit for the Gators this season, Florida started off Sunday’s contest in a 1-0 hole after dropping the doubles point to Vanderbilt (14-10, 7-6 SEC).
The Gators roared back in singles competition, however, winning four-straight matches to clinch the victory and a share of the title.
Junior No. 125 Olivia Janowicz finished first with a 7-5, 6-1 win. Junior No. 57 Alex Cercone soon followed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over No. 83 Georgina Sellyn. Senior No. 1 Laureen Embree made quick work of No. 59 Lauren Mira 6-2, 6-1, and junior No. 13 Sofie Oyen closed things out with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
Embree and senior Caroline Hitimana became the first classmates to win an SEC regular-season title in each of their four years at Florida.
Following Sunday’s contest, the Gators were awarded the No. 3 seed in the 2013 SEC Tournament, which is set to begin on Wednesday, after a three-way tie forced conference officials to conduct a drawing. Florida will have consecutive byes before participating in its first match on Friday at 6 p.m.
UF and TAMU are set up to potentially go head-to-head in the semifinals as UGA picked up the event’s No. 1 overall seed.
The Gators are also looking to capture their fourth-straight SEC Tournament title.
Florida’s title win on Sunday marked the athletic program’s seventh league regular-season championship of the 2012-13 athletic season.