Tsveta Dimitrova clinched her fist and casually strolled toward her opponent as Taylor Gruber’s shot collided with the net. Dimitrova claimed her fifth singles victory and the Florida women’s tennis team’s second-consecutive road win over a top-50 team.
Marlee Zein finished off Jackie Carr in the fourth hour of Florida’s marathon match, clinchi…
“I’m proud of the way (Dimitrova) played today,” coach Roland Thornqvist said in a release. “She played almost flawlessly to get out to the early lead and... she stayed focused and stayed within herself, and that was great to see.”
Her play in both singles and doubles propelled No. 45 Florida (6-5) to a 4-1 victory over No. 41 Missouri (10-5) on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Gators improve to 3-1 in SEC play and remain undefeated on the road in conference play.
Florida’s dominance in doubles continued, claiming the opening point in its fifth straight match.
The sophomore tandem of Victoria Emma and McCartney Kessler defeated No. 65 Mackenzy Middlebrooks and Ellie Wright 6-4 while transfer duo Ida Jarlskog and Dimitrova handled Gabrielle Goldin and Taylor Gruber 6-3.
Florida freshmen standouts Marlee Zein and Anastasia Kharitonova dropped their first doubles match in three matches, falling to Marta Oliveira and Risa Fukutoku 6-3.
The Gators kept the pressure on the Tigers with swift victories on Courts 1 and 2 from No. 12 Jarlskog and No. 44 Kessler to take a 3-0 lead. Both Jarlskog and Kessler bounced back from ugly straight-set losses to Arkansas on Friday by outscoring their opponents 25-14 combined on Sunday.
Zein fell shortly after to Missouri’s Wright in three sets (6-4, 5-7, 7-5) to claim the Tigers’ lone point of the day. Dimitrova subsequently finished off Gruber in a dominant 6-1, 6-4 showing to give the Gators their third victory in four matches.
“I think we all know that there is a lot of parity in this league and on this team as well,” Thornqvist said. “We are going to have a lot of close sets and we are definitely getting better at closing them out… I’m pleased with the way we remained locked in and competed today.”
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