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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Marrit Boonstra and Megan Alexander looked for redemption Thursday.

Neither player made it into the singles main draw at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, with Boonstra falling one win shy Wednesday. But the Gators got another chance in doubles competition, when the No. 6-ranked duo went against one-half of a team that had handed them a loss two weeks ago.

Kelcy Tefft and Kristy Frilling of Notre Dame came to Gainesville on Sept. 20 and beat Boonstra and Alexander at the Gator Fall Classic.

This time, Boonstra and Alexander were victorious, 8-4. But it wasn't easy.

While the team typically looks to overpower its opponents, Tefft and partner Kali Krisik kept them off-balance and forced Boonstra and Alexander to adjust.

"Notre Dame brought (Teft) back, so we had to play good defense and get it down at their feet," UF assistant head coach Dave Balogh said. "We had to lock down."

Even though the Gators won, Boonstra was not at her best. She was coming off a treacherous run in the singles qualifying draw, including six and a half hours worth of matches Tuesday. Boonstra has been battling cramps in both legs the last two days, so she spent significant time in an ice bath and received multiple massages from trainer Kristen Ribbons.

"Kristen did a phenomenal job getting her ready to play today. I don't think she was 100 percent, but I'd say she was 80," Balogh said. "She clearly bounced back (from Wednesday's loss) and was a lot better today."

Their next opponent will be the No. 3-ranked Melissa Mang and Amanda Granson of Duke. Mang and Granson won handily Thursday 8-2 against another top-five team, Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette of Stanford.

"We're going to have to be at the top of our game to win," Balogh said.

Boonstra and Alexander need three more match victories to win the tournament. For Boonstra, who has played so much this week, the road to the championship will be a slow-paced one. The team will only have to play one match a day for the remainder of the tournament.

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