After a historic run in the NCAA tournament and a remarkable four years as a Gator, Belinda Woolcock’s college career came to a close on Monday when she lost 6-3, 6-3 in the NCAA Singles Championship finals.
Playing Michigan’s Brienne Minor, Woolcock admitted she had “nothing left in the tank” for Monday’s match. It was her 11th consecutive day of singles matches since arriving in Athens, Georgia, on May 19 for the Round of 16 in team play, and it showed.
Minor came out strong as she surged to a 4-0 lead in the match’s opening set. After earning a break, Woolcock showed signs of life as she closed the gap to 5-3, but ultimately dropped her serve one game later to end the set.
Minor then continued to play hard through the second set and quickly jumped out to a 4-2 lead. While Woolcock held to make it 4-3, Minor took the final two games to earn the 6-3, 6-3 victory and secure a national championship in NCAA women’s singles play.
Woolcock said she was “shocked” she made it as far as she did in the singles tournament after pouring so much into the previous week’s team competition.
“I didn’t expect a lot because I put so much effort and energy into the team event,” she said in a release. “I’m just so proud of myself that I got this far into the tournament. I know today I may have run out of steam….My mind was fresh and I did everything that I could today. I’m just so proud that I was able to represent the Gators.”
This was Woolcock’s last match in orange and blue after graduating in April. During her time at UF, she earned a 113-39 singles record, making her the 17th-winningest singles player in the history of the program. After Monday’s match, coach Roland Thornqvist had nothing but praise for the Melbourne, Australia, native.
“She’s been a dream student-athlete,” he said. “You get them, work them and they get better and better and finally their senior year they get paid. That’s what happened to Belinda, and I’m really proud of her.”
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Belinda Woolcock hits a forehand during Florida's 4-2 win against Oklahoma State on Feb. 18, 2017, at the Ring Tennis Complex.