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Thursday, April 25, 2024

No. 24 Gators pounce No. 34 Tigers to pick up first ranked win of Spring

Florida end home stand with strong performance against Louisiana State Tigers

Florida senior Carly Briggs pumps her first during the Gators' match against the Pepperdine Waves Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Florida.
Florida senior Carly Briggs pumps her first during the Gators' match against the Pepperdine Waves Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, at Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Florida.

She defeated No. 11-ranked Louisiana State junior Kylie Collins in an exhilarating matchup. She won the first set 6-3 and came back from being down 6-5 in the second to win 7-5. 

She also secured the doubles point for Florida alongside freshman Rachel Gailis. These two points helped lead the Gators to victory.

The No. 24 Florida Gators (6-3, 1-1 SEC) pounced the No. 34 LSU Tigers (6-3, 1-1 SEC) 4-1 Sunday afternoon. The win marked UF’s 50th of the all-time series and improved its head-to-head record to 50-2 against LSU. 

The Gators started off hot and picked up an early lead with a doubles victory. 

Florida sophomore Emily De Oliveira paired with freshman Sophie Williams and faced Tigers seniors Safiya Carrington and Maggie Cubbitt on Court 3. Williams and De Oliveira repeated their success from their thrilling win against Texas A&M Friday evening. 

The Gators’ duo looked flawless and got out to a large 4-1 lead. The pair refused to let up and secured a 6-3 victory.

Florida senior Carly Briggs teamed up with freshman Rachel Gailis to face Collins and senior Nina Geissler. The Gators pair kept a steady lead throughout the match and pulled away to win 6-4. 

UF sophomores Bente Spee and Alicia Dudeney went unfinished on Court 1. The sophomores trailed 5-2 against the No. 17-ranked Tigers pair of freshmen, Anastasia Komar and Nikita Vishwase. 

The defeat marked LSU’s second consecutive and overall loss of the season. The Tigers had to fight back in singles play after they trailed 1-0 in doubles.

The first singles match conclusion occurred on Court 3. Dudeney increased the Gators’ lead to two with a victory against Geissler. The sophomore committed few mistakes to win her first set 6-2; She repeated her first-set score to win 6-2 again. 

Spee picked up another victory for Florida seconds later. 

The sophomore faced LSU freshman Noor Carrington. The competitors exchanged points until the score reached 5-5. Spee gained an edge over her opponent and took the first set, 7-5. 

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Spee capitalized off the strong first-set performance and trounced Carrington 6-2 in the second. 

UF led 3-1, and each remaining Gator had the opportunity to secure a team victory in their final sets. 

No. 83-ranked UF junior Sara Dahlstrom faced No. 44-ranked Komar. Dahlstrom performed well in singles all year but looked shaky to start. She dropped the first set 6-3 and fell in the second set, 6-7(2). 

Briggs became the Gator to push UF over the hump. Her victory over No. 11 Collins helped secure the win for Florida and captured the team’s first ranked win of the Spring. 

De Oliveira battled Tigers graduate student Mia Rabinowitz on Court 1. She swept her opponent 6-0 in the first set but lost the second, 5-7. She trailed 2-1 in the final set that went unconcluded. 

Gailis also entered a third set on Court 4. She lost her first set 5-7, won her second 6-4 and was down 0-1 in the final set that was unable to finish. 

The Gators will go on the road to face the No. 41 South Carolina Gamecocks at the Carolina Indoor Tennis Center at noon March 11th. 

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

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Luke Adragna

Luke Adragna is a third-year journalism student and the Florida Gators football reporter at The Alligator. He is a cat ethusiast and completes the NYT Daily Mini in less than a minute each day.


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