Florida women battle for third consecutive SEC Tournament title in tennis
It didn't come easily, but the Florida women's tennis team found a way to win its third consecutive SEC Tournament championship on Sunday.
The top-seeded Gators (21-1) defeated third-seeded and No. 7 ranked Georgia 4-1 to earn the Gators' 18th league title in the 26-year history of the event.
With the victory, the Gators earn the SEC's automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. The 64-team field will be announced on May 1 at 5:30 p.m. on www.NCAA. com.
Five of the six singles matches against Georgia went to a third set. The Gators won by taking the doubles point and earning singles wins by Joanna Mather (who was named SEC Tournament MVP), Lauren Embree (who earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team), and Caroline Hitimana - who provided the clinching championship win.
“It feels great, and in particular because of the match we just played,” UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “That was the SEC’s finest right there, the two best teams in the league without a doubt. It was high-level tennis from start to finish. We had to execute again at the end at No. 1 doubles and we poached at the right time. Then in singles there were five three-setters. I think once again our fitness proved to perhaps make a little bit of a difference. I think we got to them at 1 and 2, and certainly at 6 as well. I’m just very pleased.”