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Monday, March 27, 2023

Dahlstrom shines in Florida’s near sweep of Baylor

Dahlstrom extends her season streak to six singles victories

Florida sophomore Emily De Oliveira serves the ball in the Gators' 6-1 victory against the Baylor Bears Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. Photo by Shelby Hild.
Florida sophomore Emily De Oliveira serves the ball in the Gators' 6-1 victory against the Baylor Bears Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. Photo by Shelby Hild.

Florida junior Sara Dahlstrom continues her dominant season with another singles win. She earned her sixth victory of the season and extended her Gators singles win streak to 11 in a row, dating back to April 16, 2022.  

The No. 18 Florida Gators (3-1) traveled back to Waco, Texas, to face the Baylor Bears (6-2). The Bears were undefeated at home and coming off a brief two-day rest period after defeating Ole Miss, 4-0. 

The meet began with doubles action.

Gators’ freshman Rachel Gailis and sophomore Bente Spee faced off against Baylor sophomores Alina Shcherbinina and Brooke Thompson. 

The Florida pair – ranked No. 58 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association — took an early lead and didn’t look back. They led 2-1 after three games and won four of the final six to win 6-3. 

Florida sophomore Sophie Williams and senior Emma Shelton were up next. 

Williams and Shelton were 3-3 on the year going into the matchup. They faced a Baylor duo yet to pair up this season — sophomores Isabella Harvison and Anita Sahdiieva. 

The duos went back and forth and were tied 4-4 after eight games. The Gators pair fought to win their last two, finishing 6-4, and secured the doubles point.  

Florida senior Carly Briggs and sophomore Alicia Dudeney went against the 8-2 doubles pair of Bears senior Paula Barañano and freshman Daniella Dimitrov. Barañano and Dimitrov led 5-3 before the match was halted with the Gators’ doubles-point victory. 

The Gators capitalized off their doubles point and nearly swept the singles. 

Dahlstrom was the first Gator to secure a point for Florida. She refused to give a game to Barañano and won both sets 6-0. 

Thompson was similarly dominated by Florida sophomore Emily De Oliveira. The Gator won her first set, 6-1, and finished assertively with a 6-0 second-set victory. De Oliveira now holds a 3-0 singles record on the season. 

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The Gators looked to Gailis on court 5, needing just one more win to secure the meet.

Gailis trailed Baylor freshman Danielle Tuhten 4-3 halfway through the opening set and stormed back to win the first frame, 6-4. She quickly led 3-0 in the second and battled back and forth through the rest of the set to win 6-4. 

Florida earned its fifth and sixth points of the day from freshman Anastasia Sysoeva and Dudeney. Sysoeva bested Dimitrov in a tiebreaking third set, 4-6, 6-4, 10-3. 

Dudeney secured her win versus Sahdiieva in two sets, 7-5, 6-3. 

Baylor’s only victory on the day came from sophomore Isabella Harvison. The sophomore earned the win in three sets against Briggs. Harvison won the first set 6-1 and gave Briggs the second set, 1-6. Briggs barely fell in the final set, 7-5, unable to secure the dual-meet sweep. 

The Gators will travel back home to face their in-state rival, the Florida State Seminoles, for their first home Spring meet at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex Thursday. 

Contact Luke Adragna at ladragna@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @lukeadrag.

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a second-year sports & media major and a writer for women’s tennis at the Alligator. In his free time, he obsesses over his kitten named Pete, updates his Letterboxd and spends way too much money on Lego.


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