Miami Advances to Sweet 16 With 4-3 Win Over No. 15 Florida

Miami Advances to Sweet 16 With 4-3 Win Over No. 15 Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the 25th time in program history, the No. 22 University of Miami women’s tennis team is headed to the Sweet 16 after defeating No. 15 and 14th-seeded Florida on Sunday afternoon.

Miami (13-7, 8-4 ACC) dropped the doubles point to Florida (17-9, 11-2 SEC), but rallied to keep its season alive and become the only Florida school in the NCAA tournament. The win extended Miami’s overall NCAA Team Championship record to 60-37 and marks the first NCAA road win since 2004 at Florida, also known as the biggest upset in NCAA history.

Doubles was tight from start to finish. Despite Leonie Schuknecht and Antonia Balzert dropping court two, 6-2, to Carly Briggs and Qavia Lopez, the other two courts fought hard for the doubles point. Alexa Noel and Audrey Boch-Collins traded points with Rachel Gailis and Bente Spee on court three, but ultimately dropped the court, 6-4, and gave the Gators the doubles point.

Starting at a 3-0 deficit, No. 27 Isabella Pfennig and Xinyi Nong never let up and climbed back. When play was halted, the duo was down 6-5 to Alicia Dudeney and Malwina Rowinska at the top court.

The Gators kept the momentum going into singles, taking court three over Leonie Schuknecht by No. 56 Carly Briggs, 6-2, 6-0. Minutes later, Xinyi Nong grabbed the quick 6-2, 6-2 win on court five over No. 109 Qavia Lopez, putting Miami on the board.

In a top-10 matchup, No. 10 Alexa Noel rolled through the top court in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, over No. 8 Rachel Gailis to tie the match at two-all. Florida went on to take the lead once again after No. 75 Sara Dahlstrom notched court two over No. 47 Isabella Pfennig, 6-4, 6-2.

Needing to win both courts to secure the Hurricane win, it came down to freshman Maria Paula Vargas and senior Audrey Boch-Collins on courts four and six. In only her third match of the season, Vargas stepped on the court and defeated Bente Spee, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1 to tie the match back at three-all.

Boch-Collins came back after losing the first set in hopes to secure her team a spot in the Sweet 16. In an intense battle, she claimed court four and Miami’s spot with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Alicia Dudeney.

The Hurricanes now face No. 3 Michigan in the Sweet 16 in Ann Arbor, Mich., on May 11 at 1 p.m.