UF roundup: Florida women's tennis back in final four

Published: Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.

ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 8-seeded Florida women's tennis team upset top-seeded and host Georgia, 4-1, Saturday in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Florida (23-5) won the doubles point and took three singles wins to stop Georgia.

In doubles, Brianna Morgan and Olivia Janowicz raced to an 8-2 win over Lilly Kimbell and Caroline Brinson. After a late surge fell short, the No. 27 ranked pair of Sofie Oyen and Belinda Woolcock outdid the No. 19 duo of Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia. Lauren Herring and Maho Kowase, ranked No. 2 in the country, led 7-6 when their match was suspended.

In singles, the Bulldogs got off to a quick start by winning four first sets, but couldn't maintain the momentum. After No. 15 Silvia Garcia evened the score with a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 14 Janowicz, Florida's Alexandra Cercone, ranked No. 28 in the country, beat Kimbell 6-4, 6-2 to put the Gators back up 2-1.

After falling 6-4 in the first set, Morgan used a late second set break to beat Herring, 6-4, 7-5 and put Florida to within one match of advancing. With the three remaining matches in third sets, No. 20 Kowase, who was handicapped by cramping, lost to No. 70 Sofie Oyen, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.

The Gators will face No. 5 seed UCLA in the NCAA tournament semifinals on Monday at 1 p.m. Monday's other semifinal pits defending national champion and current No. 11 seed Stanford against No. 7 seed North Carolina. The winners of the two semifinals meet for the championship on Tuesday in Athens.

This is UF's fifth consecutive NCAA semifinals appearance, and 24th semifinal trip in the last 28 years.

“I thought we played an absolutely outstanding match,” said Florida's Roland Thornqvist, who captured his 400th career coaching victory. “This Georgia team is really good from top to bottom, and all year their doubles have been the best in the country. ...

“When we played here two months ago, the doubles point was over in 10 minutes and we were not going to let that happen today. Credit to these guys. They bought in and were flying left and right. I'm just really, really proud. This win ranks way, way up there.”

SEC TRACK AND FIELD: Florida junior thrower Fawn Miller used a PR, the second-best performance in school history and a meet record of 57.10m/187-4 to capture the SEC javelin title on the third day of the league's outdoor championships at the Kentucky Track and Field Complex in Lexington.

Sophomore Marija Vucenovic joined Miller, now a two-time javelin champ and the NCAA leader, on the podium with a runner-up finish in the event (54.51m/178-10), sophomore Robin Reynolds was the SEC runner-up in the long jump (6.36m/20-10.5) and junior Taylor Burke tied for third in the high jump (1.77m/5-9.75), as the Gator women's squad moved into fourth place (39.5 points) with nine events scored entering the final day of competition.

The UF men are tied for sixth in the team race (11 points) after six events.

A total of 23 Gator finals events will be contested Sunday between UF's men and women. Florida qualified 19 athletes, 10 men and nine women, for finals following all preliminary races, while eight athletes will run the 5K final and another eight will compete in field events.

“I'm very proud of Fawn for being SEC champion in the javelin and very proud of both Marija and Robin for being SEC runners-up,” UF coach Mike Holloway said. “I thought we did a great job of qualifying. I questioned our focus and passion the first two days, but I think we overcame that and set ourselves up for a great competition tomorrow.”

MEN'S GOLF: Junior J.D. Tomlinson's hopes of advancing to the NCAA Division I championship came to an end at Auburn University Club, where individual Marco Iten of Austin Peay ran away with medalist honors.

Tomlinson concluded round three in the East Regional by improving one stroke, carding rounds of 75-75-74 to end play at 8-over (T34). He sunk just four birdies over the course of the weekend, making only one Saturday on the par-5, 7th hole.

Despite not being the best individual finisher, Tomlinson remained the second low-round player with his 224. Iten fired a 67, propelling him to the top of the leaderboard and solidifying his win with a tournament score of 208 (-8), finishing four strokes ahead of Alabama's Cory Whitsett (212).

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