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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sometimes, you're just one hole short.

In this case, the UF women's golf team was one golfer short in the Match Play in Orlando.

The team seeded 14th after two rounds of golf Sunday and woke up Monday morning to play Texas A&M in match play.

Perhaps when they needed her most, the Gators missed the presence of sophomore Jessica Yadloczky, who finished tied for 10th Sunday.

Nicole Schachner played in Yadloczky's place as Yadloczky was qualifying for the Futures Tour.

UF shot closely with Texas A&M but was ultimately defeated 3 holes to 2.

The Aggies won the first two matches, but the Gators responded with a resilient effort from the freshman duo of Evan Jensen and Andrea Watts.

Jensen nabbed the first win for the Gators when she captured the 12th hole for a one-hole lead. She never turned back and solidified her win by winning the last hole.

Watts won the match 1 up - by one hole. She carried a one-hole advantage into the last hole of play.

"We got two phenomenal freshmen," UF coach Jill Briles-Hinton said. "We're only going to see great things as they mature."

The freshman effort wasn't enough as Texas A&M handily won the last matchup.

The loss to Texas A&M left UF up against 10th-seeded Georgia.

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The Gators suffered the same fate they did against the Aggies, losing 3 to 2.

This time UF started strong, winning the first two matches. Nicole Schachner won her match by default - a Georgia forfeit and Brittany Nelson won 1 up.

"Getting Nicole back on the golf course was huge," Briles-Hinton said. Schachner filled in for Jessica Yadloczky, who was qualifying for the Futures Tour.

As for Briles-Hinton's opinion on Nelson's play? Three words. "Excellent. Excellent. Excellent."

Georgia answered though by winning the next three matches in a row.

UF will take on Tulsa today in the last round of match play.

Briles-Hinton was proud of Monday's play regardless of the outcome.

"We didn't win our matches as a team, but we won some individual matches," Briles-Hinton said. "That showed some huge progress."

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