Seventeen innings, five and a half hours and 12 runs.
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Chelsea Herndon had been silent since the end of the regular season. She entered Saturday’s College World Series game against LSU 0-for-11 in the postseason.
After a historic run in the NCAA tournament and a remarkable four years as a Gator, Belinda Woolcock’s college career came to a close on Monday when she lost 6-3, 6-3 in the NCAA Singles Championship finals.
Belinda Woolcock is making her final matches as a Gator count. The senior has had a stellar NCAA tournament performance, shown most recently by a birth in the NCAA Singles Tournament finals on Monday.
Belinda Woolcock and Anna Danilina have been playing against each other in practice all season. However, on Saturday, it had a purpose.
For the first time since 2015, a member of the Gators women’s tennis team will reach the semifinals of the NCAA singles tournament. However, it will also come with a Gator loss as senior Belinda Woolcock and Anna Danilina will face each other in the semifinals on Saturday.
After a dominant win over No. 2 Stanford to win the national championship on Tuesday, the Gators women’s tennis team has already seen its fair share of upsets in the individual singles and doubles tournaments. Only two Gators out of the five selected to play in singles remain after two rounds, as only one doubles team remains after the first round.
In his first press conference of the season, coach Roland Thornqvist said he thought this year’s Gators women’s tennis team was the best team he’s had in his 16 years at Florida. On Tuesday night, they lived up to that proclamation by giving the program its seventh national championship.
For the seventh time in program history, the Gators women’s team is a national champion. With a 4-1 win over the Stanford Cardinal on Tuesday, Florida punctuated what was already a tremendous season.
Standing and smiling in the middle of the court, Brooke Austin was swarmed by eight screaming Gators. After a jumping huddle with the team and assistant coaches, high fives came from every direction as “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” echoed through Georgia’s indoor tennis facility.
As Kourtney Keegan slammed the ball onto the court, a small crowd of Gators fans roared in Athens, Georgia. The point won by Keegan and partner Brooke Austin gave them a 6-2 doubles win. It was one of the many things that came easy for Florida on Sunday, as it went on to defeat Oklahoma State 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
After its first match in Athens, Georgia, the Gators women’s tennis team already knows the level of competition that lies ahead. On Friday night, Florida blanked Texas A&M 4-0 to advance to the Elite 8.
Before the Gators women’s tennis team stepped out on the court Sunday, Ingrid Neel was thinking ahead. The lone freshman playing in her first NCAA tournament was so eager to advance to the Sweet 16 in Athens, Georgia, she wasn’t even thinking about tennis.
Tied at 40 all in the game and leading 5-0 in the match, Ingrid Neel stepped up to serve. With laser focus, the freshman struck the ball and delivered an ace, winning her doubles match 6-0 alongside partner Anna Danilina.
Peggy Porter’s name hasn’t been called often. In fact, the Dallas, Texas, native’s only match this spring came in the season-opener against Depaul on Jan. 28. However, when she was put on court six during Saturday’s opening round of the NCAA Tournament, it looked like she hadn’t missed a beat. Porter’s 6-2, 6-3 win over Massachusetts’s Brittany Collens clinched the match for the Gators, giving them a 4-0 victory to begin tournament play.
Entering the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 seed in the field, senior Belinda Woolcock only has one word to describe what she and the Florida women’s tennis team feels like.
It looked all too familiar for the Gators women’s tennis team. Having lost the doubles point, Florida struggled to fight back in singles, ended a winning streak and recorded an unexpected loss.
With the SEC title on the line, the Gators women’s tennis team found itself in a hole. After six consecutive shutouts, Florida went down early to No. 5 Vanderbilt after losing the doubles point for only the fourth time this season.
Parents snickered as she walked out.
During Sunday’s match against Mississippi State, coach Roland Thornqvist walked up to senior Kourtney Keegan to talk with her about her singles match.