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Friday, January 28, 2022

Gators head to Tampa for Bedford Cup

Florida hopes to build on season-opening success this weekend at USF

Florida's Sydney Berlin and four other Gators head to Tampa for the Bedford Cup this weekend.
Florida's Sydney Berlin and four other Gators head to Tampa for the Bedford Cup this weekend.

The Florida women’s tennis team will travel in-state and compete at the Bedford Cup, hosted at the University of South Florida. 

The last time the Gators faced off against the Bulls in 2021, they won by a score of 5-2. 

The five players representing the orange and blue in Tampa will be Emma Shelton, Alicia Dudeney, Bentee Spee, Emily De Oliveira and Sydney Berlin. 

Senior Marlee Zein and junior Carly Briggs will not be competing this week because they qualified for the 2021 ITA Women's All-American Championship, which begins Oct. 4. Graduate student McCartney Kessler will miss out on the action as well, as she’s currently in Lubbock, Texas for the International Tennis Federation’s Pro Tennis Open.

The Gators are coming off an impressive performance by Briggs and her doubles partner, freshman Alicia Dudeney, at the Kitty Harrison Invitational in North Carolina. The duo made it to the doubles final, and Briggs made an appearance in the singles final of the invitational. The Gators fell short of capturing both titles, but Dudeney hopes to build upon her strong debut.

Outside of those two, however, Florida enters this weekend hoping to improve its doubles play. The other pairs in the doubles competition for the Gators struggled to find success last weekend. Zein and Berlin, lost all three of their doubles matches, as did freshman partners Spee and De Oliveira.

Berlin bounced back on her own in her singles performance on the final day at Chapel Hill. She defeated Mariana Manyoma-Velasquez of Kansas University 6-3, 6-3, to notch the only Sunday victory for the Gators.

De Oliveira left North Carolina with her first victory as a Gator, defeating Shaye Longwell of Louisiana State, 6-2,6-3. 

With a collection of 13 wins, 10 coming off singles matches, the Gators are primed to build on what they learned in their season opener despite missing key players.

The Gators look to improve their performances and continue the fall portion of the season Friday.

Contact Brenda Bogle at bbogle@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @bogle_brenda.

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