©Colette Lewis 2012--
Defending national champion and second seed Florida survived a tough doubles test from No. 15 Michigan, then rolled through the singles, taking a 4-0 decision as the Thursday night approached Friday morning.
Michigan took No. 1 doubles with Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas defeating the nation's top-ranked team of Allie Will and Sofie Oyen 8-5 and Florida's Alexandra Cercone and Caroline Hitimana won 8-2 over Kristy Dodge and Sarah Lee at No. 3, leaving the No. 2 court to decide the match. Mimi Nguyen of Michigan served for the match at 7-5 but was broken, and Florida found its form after that. Joanna Mather held, and when Michigan's Michelle Sulahian was broken in the next game, Embree took her opportunity to serve it out for a 9-7 victory and the doubles point.
"The doubles was really close," said Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist."I was very happy to see our 3 doubles team. We were down 2-0 15-40 and kept our heads, communicated really well, and that's what we've been stressing the last two weeks with those two--continue to talk and continue to communicate. They're both very smart kids, and if we have communication, they have a knack of finding ways to get in to matches. And once we got the 2-1 game, we started closing well and we really owned the net and we didn't lose a game after that."
Florida carried that momentum over into singles, showing their strength at the bottom three positions with quick 6-1 sets. When Florida collected the first sets at the top three positions, the question was who and when, not if, and in rapid succession, Olivia Janowicz at 6, Embree at 2 and Oyen at 4 answered to give the Gators a 4-0 victory.
"What can you say about the singles?," said Thorqvist. "Look at the scoreboard. I was very happy. I think we're moving well, we're playing smart, handling the ups and downs, handling mistakes well. I'm just very pleased."
#2 FLORIDA (24-1) def. #15 MICHIGAN (21-8), 4-0 - Henry Feild Stadium
Head Coaches: Roland Thornqvist (FLORIDA) and Ronni Bernstein (MICHIGAN)
1. #11 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (MICHIGAN) def. #1 Sofie Oyen/Allie Will (FLORIDA), 8-5
2. #22 Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (FLORIDA) def. Mimi Nguyen/Michelle Sulahian (MICHIGAN), 9-7
3. Alex Cercone/Caroline Hitimana (FLORIDA) def. Kristy Dodge/Sarah Lee (MICHIGAN), 8-2
1. #1 Allie Will (FLORIDA) vs. #12 Emina Bektas (MICHIGAN), 6-3, 4-3, unfinished
2. #9 Lauren Embree (FLORIDA) def. #93 Brooke Bolender (MICHIGAN), 6-4, 6-1
3. #21 Joanna Mather (FLORIDA) vs. Mimi Nguyen (MICHIGAN), 7-5, 3-0, unfinished
4. #61 Sofie Oyen (FLORIDA) def. Sarah Lee (MICHIGAN), 6-1, 6-3
5. #79 Alex Cercone (FLORIDA) vs. Kristy Dodge (MICHIGAN), 6-1, 5-1, unfinished
6. Olivia Janowicz (FLORIDA) def. Michelle Sulahian (MICHIGAN), 6-1, 6-3
Order of Finish