Florida women’s tennis sweeps Georgia to capture fourth-straight SEC Tournament Championship

By Adam Silverstein
April 21, 2013

WEEKEND: Gymnastics wins first NCAA title | Lacrosse routs Northwestern

The historic weekend for Florida Gators women’s athletics continued on Sunday when the second-ranked tennis team brought home the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship, winning the event for the fourth-straight season by taking down the Georgia Bulldogs 4-0 in Starkville, MS.

The Gators (22-2) have now swept the SEC regular season and tournament championships in each of the last four years, capturing 10 of the last 13 (and 18 of the last 23) SEC Tournament titles.

Florida seniors Lauren Embree and Caroline Hitimana, which became the first players to win a regular-season SEC title in each of their four years with the program, doubled-up on their historic accomplishments and are now a perfect 8-0 in league championship opportunities.

Though the Gators have struggled in doubles action this season, Florida took an early 1-0 lead by winning the point over the accomplished Bulldogs (21-3). The freshman duo of Danielle Collins and Brianna Morgan won 8-3 on court three, putting the onus on the No. 22 team of Embree and junior Sofie Oyen to come through in the clutch on court one. Embree and Oyen fought to the finish and won a tiebreak over the No. 1 duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia to spot Florida the early advantage.

Though UGA gave a valiant effort in singles action, UF’s talent simply overwhelmed its long-time SEC East rivals.

No. 95 Morgan breezed through her match on court four 6-3, 6-0; No. 54 Cercone did the same on court three, picking up a 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 89 Garcia.

It appeared as if Embree would be the one closing things out for the Gators once again as she won her first set 7-6 and led 5-4 in the second on court one. However, No. 6 Lauren Herring fought hard to even things up at 5-5 and keep Georgia alive.

Instead it was junior Olivia Janowicz who clinched the victory for the Gators. Janowicz lost her first set 4-6 but came back to dominate court five with a 6-2 win in the second set and 6-4 victory in the third and final set.

Sunday’s tournament championship is the second for Florida this season (soccer). The Gators have also captured eight regular season conference titles (seven SEC, one ALC) during the 2012-13 athletic season.

[ READ: UF women’s tennis wins fourth-straight SEC title ]

Florida took down No. 18 Vanderbilt in quarterfinal action on Friday before avenging its only league loss by defeating No. 4 Texas A&M 4-1 on Saturday in the semifinals.

Next up for Gators women’s tennis is the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which begins on May 10. UF will likely host first- and second-round action in Gainesville, FL.

One Comment

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Amazing. What a great athletic program.

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