The No. 1 women's (16-2) tennis team was narrowly upset by No. 5 Florida (17-2) yesterday in Gainsville, Fl., by a score of 4-3.
With the overall score tied at two matches apiece, the contest was decided by the final three matchups, each of which went into decisive sets. Sophomore Saras Arasu lost her three-setter to the Gators' Lindsay Dawaf by a score of 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the third flight.
"The Florida player did a really good job making adjustments and playing to Saras's weaknesses and Saras didn't adjust well," head coach Jamie Ashworth said. "As a team we didn't adjust well."
In another critical match, Katie Granson was defeated by Florida's top player, No.14 Alexis Gordon.
After losing the first set, Granson battled back to win the second and even up the score. However, the senior was unable to capitalize on the momentum going into the third set when she quickly found herself down three games to none.
"She dug herself a hole and didn't have the energy to come back," Ashworth said. "She needed to do a better job at the beginning of the set."
In other action, No.2 Kelly McCain battled back from a first set deficit to win a close three set match over Julia Scaringe 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Meanwhile, Duke's Amanda Johnson cruised to an easy victory over Zerene Reyes. However, the Blue Devils lost points when Julie DeRoo and Julia Smith were defeated easily by their respective Florida opponents.
"Its not good to lose but we learned a lot because the NCAAs are here," Ashworth said. "We learned a lot about what we need to do under pressure. We learned about what we need to do to make adjustments."
The Florida win avenges a loss to Duke in the ITA Team Championships earlier in the year, which Duke won 4-3, earning it the nation's No. 1 ranking.
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