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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Gators women’s tennis suffer first defeat of season against Michigan

The No. 8 Gators fell short in a top-10 matchup against the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines

Florida’s pair of freshmen Malwina Rowinska (left) and Qavia Lopez (right) celebrate winning a doubles point in the Gators women’s tennis match against Baylor.
Florida’s pair of freshmen Malwina Rowinska (left) and Qavia Lopez (right) celebrate winning a doubles point in the Gators women’s tennis match against Baylor.

The No. 8 Gators women’s tennis team (4-1) had been on a heater to start the season. That was until it stepped into Ann Arbor Tuesday evening to face the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines (5-1).

In their first top-10 matchup of the season, the Gators fell short against the Wolverines 4-1.

Sophomore No. 63 Rachel Gailis was the only Gator who earned a point, as she won her singles bout on Court 2 against Michigan’s No. 28 junior Julia Fliegner.

Florida started strong on the doubles front on Court 2. The undefeated No. 38 pair of freshmen Qavia Lopez and Malwina Rowinska cruised to a 6-2 victory over Michigan’s pair of graduate student Anna Ross and sophomore Lily Jones.

The matchups on Courts 1 and 3 were back-and-forth bouts. On Court 1, Michigan’s No. 8 pair of seniors Kari Miller and Jaedan Brown bested Florida’s tandem of juniors Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee 7-5.

Meanwhile, Court 3’s bout between Florida’s pair of graduate student Carly Briggs and sophomore Rachel Gailis and Michigan’s duo of freshman Reese Miller and Piper Charney headed to a tiebreaker.

With the doubles point on the line, Miller and Charney triumphed 7-6 and secured the Wolverines’ doubles point.

Down after doubles for the first time this season, Florida needed to win four of its six singles against a Michigan lineup with four ITA top 100 singles players.

The deficit grew for the Gators as two of the ranked Wolverines grabbed quick wins in straight-sets. On Court 1, Michigan’s No. 10 Kari Miller bested Florida’s No. 38 Briggs 6-2, 6-2.

Then, on Court 4, Michigan’s No. 82 senior Gala Mesochoritou dominated Florida’s Dudeney, not even allowing her opponent a point in a 6-0, 6-0 win.

With Michigan leading three points to one, the Gators’ backs were against the wall as they needed to win the remaining singles matchups to claim the match.

All three matchups went to a third set, but only one concluded. On Court 3, Michigan’s Brown defeated Florida junior No. 23 Emily De Oliveira 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to give the Wolverines the win.

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As a result, the match on Court 5 between Michigan’s No. 47 junior Lily Jones and Florida’s Lopez and the match on Court 6 between Michigan’s Charney and Florida’s Rowinska did not finish. The Wolverines led in the third set on both courts.

The Gators will look to put their first loss of the season behind them as they head to Seattle, Washington, for the ITA Indoor National Championship. The tournament runs from Friday to Monday and features 16 teams.

Contact Max Bernstein at Follow him on X @maxbernstein23.

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