GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 20 University of Arkansas women’s tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision at No. 29 Florida on Sunday. With the loss, the Razorbacks drop to 10-3 on the season and 4-3 in Southeastern Conference play.
In doubles play, Arkansas had the lead on both courts one and three before Florida rallied back to win on both and clinch the doubles point for the Gators. On court one, No. 28 duo Lauren Alter and Tatum Rice took a 4-3 match lead, sweeping the fourth game point from No. 26 McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein. Kessler and Zein used three-straight game points to take the set 6-3.
Battling on court three, Razorback pair Laura Rijkers and Kelly Keller dropped their match to Sydney Berlin and Sara Dahlstrom in a 6-4 decision.
In singles play, Arkansas fell in straight sets on courts 4-6, giving Florida the four points it needed to clinch the win. Senior Lauren Alter dropped her match against Berlin 6-3, 6-1 just before freshman Morgan Cross recorded a loss on court four, a 6-3, 6-0 defeat to No. 65 Layne Sleeth.
The match-clinching point came on court five, as Netherland-native Rijkers made the right adjustments after dropping the first set to Sarah Dahlstrom 6-3, but ultimately fell to Dahlstrom 6-3, 6-4.
Arkansas was in third-set tiebreakers on courts two and three when the match was clinched. Keller defeated Zein 6-4 in the first set before dropping the second to Zein, 6-3. Keller was giving her best fight in the third, leading her Gator counterpart 1-0 in the tiebreaker. Senior Rice bounced back from a 6-1 set-one loss to Jarlskog to tie the match with a 6-3 win in the second set. Rice was leading 1-0 in the tiebreaker when the match ended.
The Razorbacks return home to Fayetteville and have a bye-week before resuming action for their final home series of the season on March 26 versus Auburn and March 28 against Alabama.
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