Two hundred eighty-one days.
That’s the amount of time that has passed since the Florida women’s tennis team lost a dual meet.
Every competing senior on the Florida women’s tennis team won their singles match in a 4-0 rout of Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, leaving UF…
This streak began with the Gators’ victory over Massachusetts in the first round of the NCAA Championships in 2017, a season where Florida would win out and — with a 29-3 record to end the year — claim the NCAA championship. If UF’s performance against Cal State Fullerton and Louisiana-Monroe at the ITA Kickoff over the weekend is any indication, that streak won’t die out anytime soon.
Florida (2-0) defeated both teams in routs at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, completing a 4-0 sweep in both matches. The victory over Louisiana-Monroe sent team to the ITA National Indoor Championships, an event it won last year.
One of the biggest concerns coming into the weekend was doubles play. At the Freeman Memorial in Las Vegas the previous week, both doubles teams the Gators fielded were eliminated in the first round of the tournament. Freshman Katie Kubicz was paired with senior Peggy Porter, and freshmen Victoria Emma and McCartney Kessler made up the second team.
The plan was in practice to have a senior paired up with a freshman with all three doubles teams. Seniors Anna Danilina and Josie Kuhlman did not participate in the Freeman Memorial, leaving only Kubicz and Porter to follow this format during the tournament. With their loss, coach Roland Thornqvist mused in an interview that he might not have stuck to this format if the teams continued to struggle.
However, it quickly became apparent at the ITA Kickoff that when it came to doubles, the senior-freshman duos worked.
Emma, now paired with a senior in Danilina, and Kessler, paired with Kuhlman, won every match they played in. Kubicz and Porter, the returning team from the Freeman Memorial, didn’t finish its match on either day.
After their performances, Thornqvist made it clear that he was going to stick with the senior and freshman format, putting all questions to rest.
Florida will face longtime rival Florida State (2-2, 1-0 ACC) on Feb. 3 in Orlando at the USTA National Campus. The event marks the first neutral match the Gators will play this spring, with FSU having already played three matches on a neutral court. UF was 11-1 in neutral matches last year, while the Seminoles were 3-1.