The Tennessee women’s tennis team (16-8, 8-3 SEC) fought hard but ultimately dropped a 4-1 decision to top-seeded and third-ranked Florida on Sunday afternoon in the SEC Championship final.
After grinding out wins over Vanderbilt and Ole Miss on Friday and Saturday, UT just didn’t have enough left in the tank to defeat Florida.
“We played hard every day this week,” Tennessee co-head coach Mike Patrick said. “We have to get some rest and take some time off before preparing for the NCAA Tournament.”
As they did in the first meeting of the season, the Lady Vols pushed the Gators to the brink, forcing third sets in three singles matches and winning one in straight sets.
Florida started the afternoon by winning the doubles point thanks to wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles.
UT then evened the team score courtesy of a 6-4, 6-3 victory at No. 4 singles by Zsófia Zubor.
At third singles, Rosalía Alda lost a 6-2, 7-5 decision to 75th-ranked Marrit Boonstra, who would go on to claim tournament MVP honors.
No. 7-ranked Allie Will topped Maria Sorbello, 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to put the Gators within a win of clinching their 16th SEC Tournament championship in school history.
With Jennifer Meredith a late scratch from the singles lineup, Katie Lee played No. 5 and Kata Szekely stepped in at No. 6. Szekely’s match today was her first singles outing since April 9 against Florida.
She battled hard and pushed Caroline Hitimana to three sets, but ultimately UF emerged victorious, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to secure the crown.
Alda and Sorbello were both named to the All-Tournament Team following the match.
First and fifth singles went unfinished.
Tennessee will have a few weeks off before returning to action in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is May 4 at 7 p.m.