CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The 13th-ranked Clemson women’s tennis team took the No. 2 Florida Gators down to the wire before ultimately falling 4-3 on Saturday night in the first round of the ITA Team Indoor Championships. The match came down to a third-set tiebreak at number four singles before No. 43 Belinda Woolcock clinched the match for the Gators. The Tigers fall to 3-2 on the season, with both losses at the hands of top 10 teams, and the Gators improve to 4-0.
In doubles action, the Tigers started fast out of the gates, with Joana Eidukonyte and Daniela Ruiz winning 6-2 on court three. Romy Koelzer and Tristen Dewar followed with a huge 6-3 win over the Gators’ 17th-ranked duo of Josie Kuhlman and Peggy Porter. With the wins on courts two and three Clemson clinched the doubles point. The match on court one between No. 2 Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies and Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan was not finished, though the Tigers led 5-4 when the match was clinched.
In singles action, No. 27 Joana Eidukonyte put the Tigers up 2-0 with a big win over No. 11 Brianna Morgan. Eidukonyte dominated the match, winning 6-3, 6-0. Shortly after, Ruiz fell 6-2, 6-2 on court six to keep the Gators in reach. After Koelzer won the first set on court one, No. 6 Brooke Austin roared back to take the match. Rompies quickly got the momentum back on Clemson’s side with a 7-6, 6-3 win over No. 40 Porter on court five.
It came down to courts two and four where the action was back and forth the entire match on both courts. Gumulya fell at number two singles to No. 9 Kuhlman and it came down to court four where Tristen Dewar and No. 43 Belinda Woolcock’s match went back and forth. Dewar fell in the first set, but came back to win the second set, forcing a third set. In the third set, Dewar and Woolcock traded points and ultimately played a tiebreak, where Woolcock jumped out to a 6-1 lead. Dewar rallied back to cut the lead to 6-5 before Woolcock won the match.
The Tigers will return to action Saturday against the 15th-ranked Michigan Wolverines at 6:30 p.m.
#2 Florida 4, #13 Clemson 3
1. #6 Brooke Austin (UF) def. #85 Romy Koelzer (CU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 2. #9 Josie Kuhlman (UF) def. Beatrice Gumulya (CU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 3. #27 Joana Eidukonyte(CU) def. #11 Brianna Morgan (UF) 6-3, 6-0 4. #43 Belinda Woolcock (UF) def. Tristen Dewar (CU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6)5. Jessy Rompies (CU) def. #40 Peggy Porter (UF) 7-6, 6-36. #26 Kourtney Keegan (UF) def. Daniela Ruiz (CU) 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 6, 1, 5, 2, 4
1. #2 Gumulya/Rompies (CU) vs. #7 Austin/Keegan (UF) unfinished 2. Dewar/Koelzer (CU) def. #17 Kuhlman/ Porter (UF) 6-3 3. Eidukonyte/Ruiz (CU) def. Woolcock/Morgan (UF) 6-2 Order of finish: 3, 2, UF
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