Florida rally falls short against Stanford
The Gators fight back from down 3-0 to tie, but can't pull out a win in the final singles match.
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.
URBANA, Ill. — The Florida women's tennis team wasn't about to give up its hold on the NCAA Championship without a fight.
Stanford led 3-0 after taking the doubles point and grabbing wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles in Monday's semifinal against the top-seeded Gators.
But Florida rallied to tie it at 3-all with wins at No. 4 singles by Brianna Morgan, No. 5 Olivia Janowicz and Caroline Hitimana at No. 6. Janowicz and Hitimana won theirs in three sets.
But Krista Hardebeck came back from a set down at No. 3 singles to defeat Alexandra Cercone, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, to lift Stanford to today's championship final and end Florida's reign atop college tennis the past three seasons.
The No. 12 Cardinal, who also upset No. 4 seed Georgia in Sunday's quarterfinals, improved to 21-4. Florida finishes at 26-3.
Stanford halted UF's overall winning streak at 19 straight, as well as its 16th straight wins in the NCAA Championships.The Gator's last postseason loss was a 4-3 decision to Stanford in the 2010 final.
To win the national championship, Stanford will have to defeat another SEC team today. No. 3 Texas A&M beat No. 7 UCLA 4-3 in Monday's other semifinal.