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Sunday, May 28, 2023
Florida freshman Rachel Gailis serves the ball during the Gators' 4-1 win against the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
Florida freshman Rachel Gailis serves the ball during the Gators' 4-1 win against the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

You can expect all smiles when the Gators win the doubles point. 

Florida is 11-1 when they win the opening point and played to its statistical trend against Missouri. The Gators won the doubles point and carried all momentum to sweep the Tigers 7-0. 

The No. 16 Florida Gators (12-4, 6-2 SEC) pounced the Missouri Tigers (10-11, 1-8 SEC) 7-0 Friday evening at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators were hot from the jump; they convincingly stole the doubles point and kept up the pace for the remainder of the match to clinch the Southeastern Conference match win.

Florida sophomore Emily De Oliveira and freshman Sophie Williams earned UF its first win needed for the doubles point. Tigers junior Gabriela Martinez and freshman Laura Masic took the match’s first game, but the tides soon reversed.

The Florida tandem dominated and won six consecutive games for the 6-1 win and passed the torch to sophomores Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee, who were up 5-1 on Court 1. 

The sophomores faced Missouri junior Mae Canete and sophomore Cristine Canete and took the match’s first five games. The Canete sisters kept their heads above the water for one extra game but found themselves one point away from defeat. 

Dudeney forced a faulty return that Mae was unable to return over the net, and the Gators won 6-1 to earn the doubles point. 

Florida senior Carly Briggs and freshman Rachel Gailis neared defeat against freshman Andrea Artimedi and junior Emelie Schwarte. The Florida pair got off to a rough start and dropped the first three games. They trailed 5-3 before the Gators earned the doubles point. 

The Gators led 1-0 as they entered doubles play and quickly added to their lead with straight-sets victories across the top-three courts. 

Briggs — the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s No. 42-ranked singles player — went head-to-head against Masic and was in control from the opening serve. The Gators senior won 6-1 in the opening set and doubled her efforts for a 6-3 second-set victory. 

Dudeney extended Florida’s lead fewer than five seconds later; She defeated Schwarte in another straight-sets victory. 

Dudeney’s first-set efforts trampled the Tiger, 6-2, and the sophomore carried her momentum into the second set for a 6-3 victory. 

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Florida junior Sara Dahlstrom — the No. 42-ranked singles player — faced off against No. 75-ranked Mae Canete. She looked to secure the victory for Florida with a singles win. 

The junior convincingly outperformed Canete and won 6-2 in the first set and 6-4 in the second. 

The victory secured the dual-match win for Florida, but the teams mutually agreed to continue play on the remainder of the courts. 

De Oliveira went against Cristine Canete. De Oliveira opened the match with an assertive 6-2 victory and experienced some struggles midway through the second set. The sophomore trailed 5-4 but honed in and took the last three games for a 7-5 second-set win. 

Spee competed against Artimedi in a back-and-forth tussle. Artimedi gained an early lead and grabbed the first set, 6-2. 

The Florida sophomore responded with a dominant 6-3 second set in which she seemed to respond to every attack by the Tiger. The win initiated a third set, and Spee crushed Artimedi 10-1. 

Gailis earned the matchup’s final conclusion in a hard-fought battle against Martinez. The Florida sophomore forfeited the first set, 6-4, but forced a third set with a 6-4 second-set victory. 

The third set ended in thrilling fashion with Gailis prevailing over Martinez 11-9. 

The Gators will stay at home for their next matchup. They’ll face off against the Arkansas Razorbacks at 1 p.m. Sunday at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. 

Contact Luke Adragna at Follow him on Twitter @lukeadrag.

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a UF journalism junior and The Alligator's baseball beat reporter for the summer. In his free time, he obsesses over his son (cat) named Pete, buys way too many legos and completes the NYT's daily mini in fewer than 60 seconds.  

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