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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Kessler
Kessler

Florida had their second match in Alabama this weekend on Sunday afternoon after a win against Alabama on Friday evening. This time the opponent was Auburn, and, in a match that went down to a tie-breaker, the Gators left the Heart of Dixie with two important conference wins under its belt.

The day started off with a sign of the mixed events to follow as Tsveta Dimitrova and Ida Jarlskog lost in doubles on Court 2 to Madeline Meredith and Georgie Axon 2-6. On center court, McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein made it even for the Gators, winning against Taylor Russo and Selin Ovunc 6-3.

This left the doubles point up for grabs on Court 3, where the Gator team of Sydney Berlin and Victoria Emma were victorious versus Yu Chen and Carolyn Ansari, winning 6-3 and securing the first point of the match for UF.

Singles began on a much more positive note for Florida because of Kessler’s sheer dominance on Court 1 against No. 78 Taylor Russo, coming out with the victory in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Things started to get rough after, though,with three consecutive losses in a row for UF.

The first loss was on Court 2 where Auburn got its own straight-sets victory with Selin Ovunc defeating Victoria Emma 6-3, 6-3. Results on Court 6 brought more of the same with Madeline Meredith beating Dimitrova 6-4, 7-5. The final win on the day for Auburn came on Court 4 where Carolyn Ansari took Sydney Berlin to three sets, coming out 0-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3.

At this point in the match, the Gators were down by one and needed to win both remaining points to defeat the Tigers. Florida (5-2, 2-0) played well in the beginning but Auburn (7-5, 0-2) came roaring back, setting up a tense end with only two points left. Both of the remaining matchups would have to go into three sets to determine a winner, and leaving it late is something that is expected with this UF team.

The first of the latter two matches to finish was on Court 3 after Ida Jarlskog triumphed over Yu Chen 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Court 4 was the location of the all- important match between Zein and Georgie Axon where the sophomore from Florida eventually eked out the win. She needed a tie-breaker in the final set of the afternoon to do it but came out on top 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) and clinched the team’s fifth win of the year.

UF returns home for a match against LSU on Friday at 5 p.m.

Follow Myles on Twitter @myles_herbert and contact him at mherbert@alligator.org.

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