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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
No. 26 Kessler and Marlee Zein finally earned their first doubles win this season against UCF Tuesday night.
No. 26 Kessler and Marlee Zein finally earned their first doubles win this season against UCF Tuesday night.

McCartney Kessler gave her final serve of the day at 7:27 p.m. Thursday night. 

The serve before landed about a foot behind the backline. Her second landed just inches to the right, beyond the play area.

Kessler fell to her knees in disappointment and pleaded that the serve was in play. The umpire disagreed.

After beating the Gators in Orlando less than two weeks ago, UCF proved that homecourt advantage doesn’t matter in a dominant performance in Gainesville Thursday evening. The No. 21 Gators did their best to keep the sets close but were slain again by the No. 22 Knights 4-1.

Florida fell after a three-game losing skid with its only victory coming against unranked Georgia State.

No. 26 Kessler and Marlee Zein finally earned their first doubles win this season. The duo was in a rut not even halfway through the season after a 0-3 start. 

As their early lead against No. 6 Rebeka Stolmar and Marie Mattel increased, Zein and Kessler couldn’t help but share a few smiles. The chemistry and singles techniques blended in their doubles play, leading to a 6-2 match. 

Stolmar and Mattel’s last meeting went unfinished in a 5-5 draw when the teams met in Lake Nona, Florida.

Junior Sydney Berlin gained the Gators’ only point after a duel with UCF redshirt sophomore Nandini Sharma 6-4, 6-1. This marks Berlin’s second dual win of the season and breaks her own two-game losing streak.

UCF won with the last meeting after a 4-3 nailbiter that came down to a final singles match lasting almost two hours. Three matches went unfinished after the Knights clinched the fourth point.

The Gators will get a day of rest before they hit the road to Tampa to play the USF Bulls at 2 p.m. Thursday. Stream the match on FloridaGators.com

Follow Jesse Richardson on Twitter @JesseRich352 or contact jrichardson@alligator.org

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