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Florida Athletics | February 22, 2015

No place like home

  The clinching point came on a double-fault to give the Gators another win at home.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Junior Brianna Morgan’s opponent, Caroline Doyle, double faulted on match point and handed No. 2 Florida its 138th consecutive win at home, a 4-3 victory against No. 10 and previously undefeated Stanford on Sunday afternoon at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

It all came down to two heated battles on singles courts No. 2 and No. 3. Third-ranked freshman Josie Kuhlman led Stanford’s Taylor Davidson in a third set tiebreak on Court 2 5-0, but Davidson wouldn’t go away.

Davidson won three consecutive points, allowed one from Kuhlman, then took four in a row to go up 7-6 in the tiebreak. Kuhlman knotted the tiebreak at 7-all, and the two traded points back and forth before Davidson tallied two consecutive to take the match, 2-6, 6-0, 7-6 (8).

As soon as Kuhlman’s match came to a close, the focus of a spirited crowd at Linder Stadium shifted to the No. 3 court, where a third-set clash continued between Morgan and Doyle. Morgan went up 2-0 early in the third, only to have Doyle respond with two consecutive games to make it 2-2.

The set score evened once more at three before Morgan surged ahead with three consecutive games, culminating with Doyle’s match-ending blunder to grant Morgan the match-clinching win.

The Gators came out firing in singles, sweeping the first set on all six courts. Peggy Porter got the ball rolling with a straight-set victory against Lindsey Kostas 6-0, 6-2, while Brooke Austin, Kuhlman and Morgan were forced into third sets, respectively.

Sophomore Belinda Woolcock downed Krista Hardebeck 6-0 in the first set. Woolcock held a 4-1 lead in the second, but allowed Hardebeck to tie it up 4-4. Woolcock withstood the pressure, however, and rattled off two consecutive games following a five-all tie to put the Gators ahead 2-1.

Within seconds, Kourtney Keegan captured a straight-set win against Ellen Tsay 6-2, 6-1, to put the home team up by two.

For just the second time this season, Florida dropped the doubles point to start the match. Spencer Liang and Woolcock picked up an 8-0 doubles win to kick off the event, but Stanford’s Doyle and Ellen Tsay downed Kuhlman and Porter 8-2.

Austin and Keegan fought off a 5-0 disadvantage to make it a 6-4 affair, but Stanford’s top duo, Taylor Davidson and Carol Zhao, were unwavering in their doubles play and clinched the early point with an 8-4 victory, handing Austin and Keegan their first doubles loss of the dual match season.

Florida opens conference play and hosts reigning SEC Champion, No. 8 Alabama, on Friday in the third matchup of a four-match home stand at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

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