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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Recently, it's been the Gators who have crushed the championship hopes of the Bruins - twice defeating the cross-country foe in basketball Final Fours.

The UF women's tennis team (24-3) failed to follow suit Monday when No. 7 UCLA (23-5) came out on the winning end of a 4-2 decision.

"It's disappointing to lose, but we can hold our heads up high knowing that we prepared and did everything we could have to get ready for this tournament," sophomore Megan Alexander said. "We left everything we had on the courts today."

No. 6 UF got off to an unfamiliar start when it dropped the doubles point for the first time all season.

The Gators No.2 ranked tandem of Whitney Benik and Csilla Borsanyi lost in an upset to the Bruins No. 56 duo of Elizabeth Lumpkin and Stephanie Wetmore.

When Julia Cohen and Anastasia Revzina lost to No. 26 Alex McGoodwin and Yasmin Schnack it marked the first time all season the Gators lost in the No. 3 doubles position.

UF had posted a perfect 25-0 record including a 21-0 record by Cohen and Revzina.

"I thought we handled (losing the doubles point) well," UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. "We thought we would have the advantage physically if the match went into the fourth hour because of the heat. We made a run, but losing the doubles point is not something we've had to deal with this year, but I thought we did the best we could."

After falling behind 2-0 when No. 29 Cohen also dropped her singles match to No. 8 Riza Zalameda, the Gators were able to make a push in singles.

Alexander and Revzina both recorded 6-4, 6-3 victories to even the score at 2-2.

Benik dropped what would be the final singles match of career, falling 6-3, 6-4 to the Bruins' Andrea Remynse.

Freshman Marrit Boonstra was unable to hold off Lumpkin who sealed the match for UCLA with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory.

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The NCAA semifinal loss to the Bruins ended the Gators season and the careers of Benik and Lolita Frangulyan.

"What a career they ended today, three NCAA final fours, three SEC championships," Thornqvist said of Benik and Frangulyan. "I know that they are terribly disappointed here, but they should be very, very proud of what they've accomplished. They have represented the University of Florida, their teammates and the coaching staff in a first-class manner and we're certainly going to miss them."

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