Women’s tennis opens double competition with victory over UNF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida women’s tennis kicked off the 2022 double season at a high level, beating North Florida 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

All three doubles teams took victories to get the game going, giving Florida a 1-0 lead early in the game. Marlee Zein and Carly Briggs, in 24th place in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association doubles ranking, defeated Kit Gulihur and Isabel Oliveira 6-3 to take the point McCartney Kessler and Emma Shelton defeated Sean Lodzki and Kendall Nash, 6-2. The freshman couple alice dubney and Bente Spee completed the sweep, passing Anslee Long and Summer Yardley in a highly contentious game, 7-5.

After hitting the double point, Dudeney racked up a quick win in the fourth singles, beating Long 6-1, 6-1 and taking Gator’s lead to 2-0. Sydney Berlin and Bente Spee, in sixth and fifth respectively, also took victories to extend Gators’ lead to 4-0. Berlin took Lodzki in sixth place: 6-3, 6-2, while Spee Oliveira quickly finished in fifth: 6-2, 6-0.

With three singles Carly Briggs, in her first double outing for the Gators, defeated Annabelle Davis in a three-set battle: 6-1, 2-6, 10-6. North Florida earned its first run of the game with one basehit when Gulihur stopped No. 32 Kessler: 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. The Orange & Blue earned their sixth and final run of the game when No. 87 Shelton withdrew from Yardley after a close first set: 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

The Gators return to action against the South Florida Bulls tomorrow afternoon, January 24, at 3:00 PM ET.

SINGLES

No. 32 Gulihur (UNF) def. Kessler: 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
No. 87 Shelton def. Yardley (UNF): 7-6 (7-4), 6-3
Briggs for sure. Davis (UNF): 6-1, 2-6, 10-6
Dudeney for sure. Long (UNF): 6-1, 6-1
Play for sure. Oliveira (UNF): 6-2, 6-0
Berlin final Lodzski (UNF): 6-3, 6-2

DOUBLE GAME

No. 24 Briggs/Zein def. Gulihur/Oliveira (UNF): 6-3
No. 46 Dudeney/Spee def. Tall/Yardley (UNF): 7-5
Kessler/Shelton def. Lodzki/Nash (UNF): 6-2

QUOTABLES
head coach Roland Thornqvist
On his general thoughts against UNF…

“It was a great day for us, especially as we have four new Gators. Obviously there were some nerves at the start of the day, but we managed to overcome those and I thought our body language was good, which helped us to some good performances.”

About the quality of the doubles…

“All three of our doubles teams played extremely well today and I think our doubles teams will be a strength for us this season. We have the opportunity to flip our lineup and get the same result. I was especially happy to see Carly and Marlee pick up a victory for us. Gulihur is a very talented player and we have had problems with UNF before. Overall I am very excited.”

On the performance of the newcomers…

Our freshmen were great. They all work hard and are sponges for knowledge; they just want as much knowledge and new things as possible. That kind of drive, combined with their talent, makes a great combination. She is [Dudeney] very talented in that four spot and she goes through such people. Carly and Emma are new too, and while not a freshman, your first game in that Gator blue is always special. There were some nerves in the beginning, but all four of our newcomers did a great job.”

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