Tennis roundup: Women's, men's teams advance to the finals


In this file photo, Florida's Josie Kuhlman returns a shot during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Kuhlman won 6-1, 6-3 Saturday to help the Gators reach the SEC finals.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File
Published: Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:11 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, La. — The No. 3 Florida women’s tennis team defeated No. 12 Auburn, 4-2, in a semifinal match Saturday at the SEC Tournament. Florida, winners of 14 straight dual matches, will play Georgia (20-3) for the championship at noon Sunday.

After dropping the doubles point for only the third time this season, the Gators (20-2) stormed back in singles. Sophomore Anna Danilina was the first off the court with a dominating, 6-1, 6-1 win on court five. Sophomore Josie Kuhlman was next with a 6-1, 6-3 win on court four.

A hard fought match on court one between Brooke Austin and No. 20-ranked Andie Dikosavljevic went the Gators’ way, 6-2, 7-5 to push the lead to 3-2. On court six, Spencer Liang came back from down 4-love in the first set to win 7-5.

"I thought we played really well in singles," UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. "We were resilient, but we were also together. I love the fact how we communicate between courts and that helps, especially when you are down. It helps bring back the momentum. We were off to a fast start on a couple of courts and that fed off itself through our communication."

Men: No. 11 Florida earned a 4-0 win over No. 13 Texas A&M at the Carolina Tennis Complex in Columbia, S.C., to advance to the SEC Tournament championship at noon Sunday against No. 6 Georgia (20-3).

It took nearly three hours of play, but the Gators (17-6) were able to get it done in both doubles and singles play. After securing the doubles point early on, the Gators hit a bumpy stretch where they were down in 5-of-6 singles matches before locking in to come back and secure three straight points and the 4-0 win.

In doubles, Alfredo Perez-Chase Perez-Blanco and Diego Hidalgo-Gordon Watson won to get the Gators rolling. Perez, Elliot Orkin and Perez-Blanco got the singles wins.

"A lot has gone into this to get us to this point and the guys are hungry for it," UF coach Bryan Shelton said. "They're certainly not satisfied. The loss we took in Athens a few weeks ago still sits right in our chests -- and we haven't forgotten about it. I know our guys will be motivated. And not only motivated to play in the match, but to go out and compete like champions."

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