Women's tennis earns trip to NCAA Final Four

Florida's Lauren Embree returns the ball during the NCAA college national quarterfinals doubles tennis match in Champaign, Ill. on Sunday. Embree and her partner Sofie Oyen defeated California's Lynn Chi and Anett Schutting in the match. (The Associated Press)

Published: Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 10:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 10:59 p.m.
URBANA, Ill. — Florida seniors Lauren Embree and Caroline Hitimana stepped up and led the Gators to a hard-fought 4-2 win against California and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships played at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex at the Atkins Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon. Embree and Hitimana have helped the Gators reach the ‘Final Four' each of their four years, as Florida will be playing the NCAA Semifinals for the 23rd time in the last 27 years.

“It feels great to be back in the semifinals,” shared Embree, who produced wins on the singles and doubles courts Sunday and improved to 34-2 in NCAA dual match singles and doubles play. “Cal is a really tough team and played great. There were some close doubles matches and we were fortunate to pull it out.” After the Golden Bears (19-6) captured the doubles win on court two for the first individual result of the dual match, the Gators remained focused and the freshman pair of Danielle Collins and Brianna Morgan earned an 8-4 win on court three before the veteran pair of Embree and junior Sofie Oyen clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 decision. Florida carried that momentum onto the singles courts early, where the Gators won the first set on four of the six courts and seemed in control. The Bears, however, battled back and evened the team scoring when fifth-ranked Zsofi Susanyi handed No. 51 Alexandra Cercone a 6-1, 6-1 setback that halted the Gator junior's 12-match win streak in addition to handing Cercone her first ever loss in 11 NCAA dual match singles contests. Junior Olivia Janowicz moved Florida one win from victory when she defeated Tayler Davis 6-1, 6-1 on court five in one hour and 40 minutes.

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