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UF Women’s Tennis: Gators Grab Win Over Georgia State in Season Opener

Senior Ida Jarlskog won in both singles and doubles in Florida’s 7-0 sweep over Georgia State Monday.

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY SAM STOLTE

The No. 21 University of Florida women’s tennis team opened its 2021 dual match season with a victory, registering a 7-0 win Monday evening over Georgia State at Linder Stadium at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.

Improving to 42-2 all-time in home openers, the Gators picked up the doubles point and kept their momentum rolling into singles play, where they posted victories on all six courts. After some competitive matches in doubles, Florida was excellent in singles, winning all six matches in straight sets.

With a clinical approach, the Gators kept the pressure on the Panthers on every court in singles. No. 26 McCartney Kessler was the first to finish as she collected a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Eva Chivu on court one. Kessler played with an impressive pace, making quick work of Chivu. Court two was the next to go the Gators’ way, as 2019 All-American Ida Jarlskog dismantled GSU’s Ellie Aldrich, recording a 6-2, 6-2 win.

Left-handed hitting Sydney Berlin provided the match clincher for the Gators with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Denisa Gheorghe on court five.

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Freshmen Sara Dahlstrom and Amber McGinnis both broke though for wins in their first taste of dual match play. Dahlstrom, who competed this fall with the Gators, added a tactical win on court four with a 6-2, 6-1 result while McGinnis won 6-1, 6-3 on court six. The Sunshine State native McGinnis appeared in her first match overall for Florida after joining the team at semester.

Junior Marlee Zein put the finishing touches on Florida’s sweep after notching a 6-3, 6-4 win from court three.

Playing in their first dual match in 323 days, the Gators got off to a bit of a slow start in doubles and trailed on two of the three courts early. Going up against a Panther team that already had a game under their belts, Florida would find its footing fast on courts two and three after play continued. Jarlskog and Dahlstrom, playing together for the first time, made quick work of Carney and Alvarez, posting a 6-1 win on court two.

After trailing 3-1, McGinnis and Berlin fought back for an impressive win on court three. The Gator duo rattled off five consecutive points to clinch the doubles decision for UF. McGinnis recorded a crucial point that swung the match in favor to make it 4-3.

Following the clinch, No. 26 Kessler and Zein fell 6-3 to Chivu and Stanescu despite a late comeback bid.

Taking on Georgia State for the first time in program history, the Gators got better as the match progressed and started the new season with a sweep.

The Gators return to the courts Friday when they travel to No. 18 UCF for a 3 p.m. ET matchup at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona.

No. 21 Florida 7, Georgia State 0
Doubles Results
Eva Chivu and Andreea Stanescu def. No. 26 McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein (UF), 6-3
Sara Dahlstrom and Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Angel Carney and Alexia Alvarez, 6-1
Sydney Berlin and Amber McGinnis (UF) def. Maddy Frediani and Ellie Aldrich, 6-3

Doubles order of finish: 2,3,1

Singles Results
No. 32 McCartney Kessler (UF) def. Eva Chivu, 6-1, 6-2
Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Ellie Aldrich, 6-2, 6-1
Marlee Zein (UF) def. Angel Carney,
Sara Dahlstrom (UF) def.  Andreea Stanescu, 6-2, 6-1
Sydney Berlin (UF) def.  Denisa Gheorghe, 6-2, 6-1
Amber McGinnis (UF) def. Nansi Frediani, 6-1, 6-3

Singles order of finish: 1,2,5,4,6,3

Quotes from the Court

Head Coach Roland Thornqvist

On his feelings finally getting on back on the court with the team…
“It’s great. Our players have been good about sort of rolling with it because the fall was the fall and you know we didn’t compete as much as we usually do. And we couldn’t train at certain times as much as we wanted to, but we spoke at length going into the season that we are going to try to be the best team to be willing to control what we can. And not worry too much about the stuff we can’t, if we get into a COVID jam or something. I think our players have done a great job with that, with their attitudes and they have worked really hard. When we are out here in the mornings, they are working really really hard. I think they have all improved over these last few months even when they went home over Christmas. So I think they were really excited to play. Starting with doubles, I think we got in our own way a little bit there but overall it’s just an awesome feeling to be able to compete and play somebody else.”

Takeaways from the match…
“Well clearly we need to continue to work on our doubles. We actually are a really good doubles team but perhaps we were a little tentative and apprehensive in our play in doubles. And it really penalized us today. I think our attitudes to how we play in doubles have to be more aggressive, you know, we are a very deliberate team in singles. We will try to make you quit in singles, but you can’t really play doubles like that. You have to go get it. We almost have to have two different personalities in our play and I think we learned that from today. When we kickoff against Central Florida on Friday I am hoping to see a little bit more aggressive team in doubles, a little bit more ‘I’m going to go get it’ team in doubles.”

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