Auburn University closed the ITA National beating Florida Gators


Auburn University closed the ITA National beating Florida Gators
© Auburn University website

No. 14 Auburn University women's tennis team concluded the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle with a victory over No. 8 Florida, by a final score of 4-0, in the consolation match.

This is Auburn's fourth win over a top-10 ranked opponent in the last three seasons. And it's also the third time the Tigers have defeated the Gators in program history and the third time in the last four meetings.

The win improves Auburn's record to 5-3 while Florida's drops to 4-4. The Tigers will travel to face Texas on Feb. 18.

Ariana Arseneault and Angella Okutoyi came back from a 3-2 deficit to defeat Alicia Dudeney and Bente Spee 6-4. This win is the third doubles win of the season for the pair. Florida won on court three, forcing DJ Bennett and Adeline Flach to win court two to claim the doubles point. Down 4-3, the Auburn duo won back-to-back games to take a 5-4 lead. The match eventually went into a tie-break which Bennett and Flach dominated 7-1 to earn the doubles point.

In singles, Carolyn Ansari trailed 4-3 in her opening set against Carly Briggs before coming back to win 6-4. Arseneault rallied on court two after dropping the first three games of the opening set to Rachel Gailis, forcing a tie-break. Arseneault then won the long tiebreaker 11-9. Bennett and Okutoyi also earned first set wins in their respective matches.

Bennett earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Alicia Dudeney, giving Auburn its first singles win of the match. Bennett's win gives her 15 singles victories this season and five singles victories in dual matches.

After Bennett's victory, Ansari followed with a straight sets victory on the first court by a score of 6-4, 6-2. The fifth-year senior's fourth straight singles win marks her ninth singles win over a ranked opponent this season.

Angella Okutoyi earned her second singles win in as many days on court three, defeating Emily de Oliveria, for her fourth dual meet singles win of the season and the highest-scoring singles win of her Auburn career.

Interim coach Lester Cook analyzed after the win: "The team played hard and competed really well today. The doubles point was huge and really helped us get momentum in the singles. The match could have gone either way, but we played the important points well and had great energy."

Women's doubles:

1. Ariana Arseneault/Angella Okutoyi (AUB) def. Alicia Dudeney/Bente Spee (UF) 6-4

2. DJ Bennett/Adeline Flach (AUB) def. Malwina Rowinska/Qavia Lopez (UF) 7-6 (7-1)

3. Carly Briggs/Rachel Gailis (UF) def. Selin Ovunc/Carolyn Ansari (AUB) 6-4

Women's singles:

1. #13 Carolyn Ansari (AUB) def. #67 Carly Briggs (UF) 6-4, 6-2

2. #61 Ariana Arseneault (AUB) vs. #70 Rachel Gailis (UF) 7-6 (9), 1-1, unfinished

3. Angella Okutoyi (AUB) def. #44 Emily de Oliveira (UF) 6-3, 6-3

4. #43 DJ Bennett (AUB) def. Alicia Dudeney (UF) 6-3, 6-1

5. #104 Selin Ovunc (AUB) vs. Qavia Lopez (UF) 3-6, 3-5, unfinished

6. Adeline Flach (AUB) vs. Malwina Rowinska (UF) 3-6, 4-4, unfinished

Auburn University