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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The UF women's tennis team finished its non-conference season Wednesday against the same team that kicked off its schedule, and it did so in similar fashion.

About the only difference from the first meeting was that this match was on the road.

The No. 4 Gators (17-1, 10-0 Southeastern Conference) swept Stetson once again, this time 6-0, in a match that UF was able to schedule after some of its matches early in the season were canceled or postponed due to inclement weather.

"We really needed to play another match, I think, at a few spots, and we got that done," UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. "There's a couple of our players, I think, who really benefit from playing a lot of points and a lot of matches. So we certainly got that done today."

UF was dominant in doubles, surrendering just four total games and sweeping all three courts from the Hatters.

Sophomore Megan Alexander and senior Lolita Frangulyan teamed up for an 8-1 victory.

Senior Whitney Benik and sophomore Csilla Borsanyi won 8-2, and the No. 39 duo of freshman Julia Cohen and sophomore Anastasia Revzina scored an 8-1 rout.

UF, which now has five singles players ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association top 125, showed its depth there as well without facing much trouble.

Five players posted straight-set wins, similar to the teams' first meeting on Jan. 23.

The No. 1 singles match, featuring Cohen, did not finish play.

Benik performed a shutout within a shutout, winning 6-0, 6-0 to capture her 14th straight singles win this season.

Meanwhile, Frangulyan won her 17th straight singles match in a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

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"Playing a match is certainly different than practice," Thornqvist said. "We got a relatively easy match in, but still it was a good one for us at this point in the season.

"For a couple of our players, I think it is crucial to continue doing some things in match situations that we've been practicing or talking about. It was just another opportunity to play."

The Gators, who won their 13th consecutive dual match, will now attempt to finish their SEC regular-season schedule unblemished when they travel to No. 32 South Carolina on Saturday. UF defeated the Gamecocks 4-1 in Gainesville last season.

"Anytime you can go undefeated in a league, certainly that's a tremendous accomplishment," Thornqvist said. "I don't know that there are that many teams that have done that in the years past. … It doesn't happen that often because this is, after all, one of the most competitive leagues in the country.

"If we were able to do it, it certainly speaks a lot about this team."

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