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Monday, May 27, 2024

Florida cruises past Missouri as forfeits provide advantage

Starting off with one secured point, the Gators easily defeat the Tigers

<p>Florida&#x27;s Sarah Dahlstrom during a match against Central Florida on Feb. 9, 2021. The Gators women&#x27;s team shut down Ole Miss, 7-0 Friday night.</p>

Florida's Sarah Dahlstrom during a match against Central Florida on Feb. 9, 2021. The Gators women's team shut down Ole Miss, 7-0 Friday night.

On the road in Columbia, Missouri, the Gators were met with another rainy day.

Once the match was about to begin, they were met with an advantage.

The Tigers (6-11, 1-3) forfeited a doubles and singles match, giving the No. 16 Gators (11-4, 3-2) a one point lead. Florida would go on to defeat Missouri 6-1. 

In order to secure the doubles point, UF needed just one victory. For graduate student McCartney Kessler and senior Marlee Zein, defeating Missouri's Bronte Murgett and Emelie Schwarte came with ease, 6-0. 

Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist was more than happy with the performance he saw from last year’s All-American honors pair.

"In a day where our hearts and minds could easily have been somewhere else, we played perhaps the best doubles point of the year,” Thornqvist said. 

Since they only needed one point, sophomore Sara Dahlstrom and junior Emma Shelton’s game came to a halt and remained unfinished. With Missouri forfeiting a singles match as well, the Gators were quickly up 2-0.

The Tigers started off the singles competition with a fighting effort, defeating Shelton 6-2, 6-2. However, Florida would make sure that was the only win they would gain.

Kessler was quick to retaliate, overcoming Murgett and duplicating the score of Shelton’s loss, 6-2, 6-2. On court two, Zein nearly lost the first set 6-4, but came back strong with a 6-1 win in the second. 

Junior Carly Briggs left it all on the court since she was unable to participate in the doubles competition with her partner senior Sydney Berlin. She efficiently defeated her opponent 6-0, 6-2. Dahlstrom was not far behind, nearly having a perfect sweep over Missouri's Gabriela Martinez.

Coach Thornqvist was very proud of his team's performance and has high hopes for an upcoming match .

“We had some of our best performances of the year on the singles courts,” Thronqvist said. “I'm so proud of this team and how professional we were able to be today. I hope that we can continue in the same manner on Sunday afternoon against a good Arkansas team."

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The Gators’ road trip continues, heading towards Fayetteville, Arkansas, to go up against the No. 36 Razorbacks. Sunday’s match will begin at 2:00 p.m.

Contact Vanessa Sanchez at Follow her on Twitter @_vanessa_sanch.

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