Florida's Belinda Woolcock serves Saturday against UMass during the opening round of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championship at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

Top-seeded Gators rout UMass in advancing to second round

By Jim Harvin Correspondent
Saturday, May 13, 2017 5:55 PM

Top-ranked Florida showed no ill-effects from a dreary, rainy beginning to the day, as the Gators defeated Massachusetts, 4-0, Saturday afternoon to advance to the second round of NCAA Tournament

action at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.

UF (24-3), the No. 1 seed for the 14th time in school history, captured the doubles point and then got wins in singles from Anna Danilina at No. 4, Ingrid Neel at No. 3 and Peggy Porter at No. 6 to advance.

“In my 16 years here, this was one of the better first-round matches,” UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. “This was a really good UMass team. I think they surprised us a little bit at the beginning of doubles with the way they were hitting the ball. I think today was great for us.

"We had to problem solve at a few spots and come up with the goods. As you look down the scores, you had a lot of 3-alls or 3-2s in the first sets of singles. We didn't jump all over them to the point of where the match was decided early, so it was great for us.”

UMass (12-8), which won the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, was simply outgunned by the Gators. Florida won the doubles point rather quickly, then reeled off three straight wins in singles to end the match.

Danilina put UF up 2-0 just moments before Neel won her match to put the Gators one win from victory.

“I definitely wanted to step out there and feel good about how I was playing in the first round, but sometimes you can't control that,” Neel said. “My serve was cranking today and I really played loose and

did what I want to do to continue to feel good about coming off the court at the NCAA Tournament.”

UF's Peggy Porter, a late substitution at the No. 6 spot, provided the clinching point by defeating Brittany Collens of UMass after Danilina and Neel had finished their matches just three minutes earlier to put the Gators on the doorstep of victory.

“It felt good,” Porter said. “I was trying not to pay attention to that, but was just trying to focus on swinging and enjoying the moment and not worrying about how it ended.”

Florida moves on to face Miami at 1 p.m. Sunday with the winner advancing to the Round of 16 in Athens, Ga., next weekend. The Hurricanes were a 4-0 winner over South Florida in Saturday's opening match. Against USF, the Hurricanes (13-11) won the doubles point and then captured the No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1 singles matches, respectively, in straight sets to advance.

Miami's Sinead Lohan provided the clinching point with a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 1 over USF's Ana Dominguez. The Bulls, meanwhile, finished their season with a 15-11 record.




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