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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
During the Gators women's tennis match against Baylor University on Saturday, January 20, 2024.
During the Gators women's tennis match against Baylor University on Saturday, January 20, 2024.

The doubles point often goes overlooked in a tennis match, but the Florida Gators have made it a crucial cog in their recent success.

On Sunday, the Gators edged out Kentucky in doubles play, winning their eighth-straight doubles point in conference play.

On Court 3, Florida’s pair of sophomore Rachel Gailis and junior Bente Spee made quick work of Kentucky’s team of sophomore Ellie Myers and freshman Julia Zhu, sweeping the match 6-0.

It was the fourth-straight victory for Gailis and Spee, who now hold a 5-1 record as a team this season.

The Gators took the doubles point on Court 2, as UF’s duo of graduate student Carly Briggs and freshman Qavia Lopez snuck past Kentucky’s pair of junior Ellie Eades and sophomore Zoe Hammond 6-4.

The success continued into singles, as the No. 13 Gators (14-7, 10-2 SEC) swiftly defeated No. 64 Kentucky (8-12, 2-9 SEC) to claim its ninth straight win.

Florida’s first singles point came on Court 3, where Briggs commanded her match against Kentucky’s Eades. The Florida graduate student took the first set 6-2, before sweeping the second set 6-0 to win the match.

Briggs’ win was followed by Lopez, who got the better of Kentucky’s Myers.

Lopez won the first set 6-3, before recording a 6-0 sweep of Myers in the second set.

With Florida only needing one win to claim the overall match victory, Dudeney took care of business on Court 4, outlasting Kentucky’s Zhu.

Dudeney grabbed the first set 6-4 before dominating the second set in a near-perfect effort, sweeping the set 6-0.

The overall match lasted just under two hours, and had an unfinished doubles bout as well as three unfinished singles matchups.

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The Court 1 doubles match ended with Florida’s No. 30 pair of Alicia Dudeney and Malwina Rowinska trailing Kentucky’s No. 44 duo of seniors Makayla Mills and Elizabeth Stevens 5-3 at the time of finish.

The unfinished match means Dudeney and Rowinska remain undefeated as a pair this season, boasting an impressive 5-0 doubles record.

In singles, No. 13 Gailis took the first set on Court 1 against Kentucky’s Hammond 6-3, while Hammond led the second set 4-3 when the match was suspended.

On Court 2, Florida senior Sara Dahlstrom dropped the first set of her match to Kentucky’s Stevens 7-5. Dahlstrom led the second set 2-0 when the match ended.

The match on Court 6 between Spee and Kentucky’s Mills didn't even make it out of the first set, as the match was in a first-set tiebreaker when Dudeney scored Florida’s winning point.

Florida will look to make  10 straight wins as they host South Carolina on Senior Day at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Contact Max Bernstein at mbernstein@alligator.org. Follow him on X @maxbernstein23.

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