UF women again fall to Vanderbilt at SEC tennis tourney


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – For the second time in an eight-day span, Florida and Vanderbilt women’s tennis teams met with a trophy going to the winner.

On Saturday of Florida’s Orange & Blue Weekend, it was Vanderbilt edging Florida 4-3 to claim sole possession of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.

The two teams worked through the bracket at Tennessee’s Barkdale Stadium to meet again Sunday for the SEC Tournament title. The Commodores (22-3) made it a sweep of the SEC Tennis titles with a 4-0 win over Florida (18-8).

The match moved inside to the Goodfriend Tennis Center due to weather in the Knoxville area. The Commodores took the doubles point and then claimed three straight-set singles wins to clinch their second-consecutive SEC Tournament title.

“They were better today and sometimes that just happens,” UF coach Florida’s Roland Thornqvist said. “There was no lack of effort on our end – really proud of our effort. Peggy Porter with her flat-out Boris Becker dive in No. 5 singles illustrates the desire this team has to get a W. You have to appreciate that as a coach.

“Phenomenal year so far as we’ve come close to two trophies. But I feel nothing but pride on what these Gators have achieved.”

The 64-team field for the 2018 NCAA Championships is unveiled Tuesday, May 1 at 5 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.

“We’ve got three weeks here [before NCAA Tournament play] so we can take care of some academics and then start working toward the NCAAs,” said Thornqvist, who led the Gators to the national championship last year. “A little break will be good. We can start from zero in our preparations. It comes at a good time for us.”