Women’s tennis drops heartbreaker to Gators

The UM women’s tennis team fell to rivals University of Florida in an upsetting 4-3 loss.

The Hurricanes battled the Gators in cold, windy conditions, atypical of the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

“They were a little bit better than us today in some positions and we had a tough first set at the No. 6 position; the second set went pretty fast,” Head Coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “Overall, they were four points better than we were.”

After sweeping the doubles matches in three solid wins 8-4, 8-3 and 8-6 to take the point, the ‘Canes were on the verge of defeating the No. 2 team in the country.

Sophomore Audra Cohen took down the No. 1 player in the country, Diana Srebrovic, in straight sets. Cohen dominated 6-1, 6-0, quickly ending the match.

“It’s rough conditions today, but to be able to come out and play top-notch and get the momentum going for UM is good,” Cohen said.

Midway through the second set, Srebrovic began to vocalize her frustration.

“Oh my God-this is the worst tennis I’ve played in my life,” Srebrovic said.

Srebrovic might have been surprised by Cohen, an unranked transfer from Northwestern, but Yaroshuk-Tews wasn’t shocked by her stellar performance.

“I don’t think there is a doubt in many people’s minds that Audra is one of the best players in the country,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “I’m really not surprised by her win, though. That’s the type of player Audrey is.”

Senior Melissa Appelbaum was defeated at the No. 2 position in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.

Sophomore Patricia Starzyk fell to Boglarka Berecz, ranked No. 16 in the ITA singles. The third singles match was complete in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

At the No. 4 singles position, newcomer Monica Dancevic lost to No. 52 Whitney Benik 6-1, 6-3.

With the score 3-2 in favor of UF, the match hinged on the outcome of the fifth and sixth singles contests.

Caren Seenauth lost the tiebreaker in the first set 7-5. Up against another ranked player, Lolita Frangulyan (No. 91), Seenauth was unable to take the second set, losing 6-3.

Junior Audrey Banada, ranked 40th, was down 5-1 in the first set of her fifth singles match. She managed to come back and win the set 7-6 in a tiebreaker. Banada didn’t let up in the second set and downed Nina Suvack 7-6, 6-3.

Despite Banada’s efforts, the ‘Canes still lost the match to the Gators, the third one-point loss of the season for the Hurricanes (3-3).

“We’re getting pretty used to bouncing back from 4-3 losses,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We’re going to take a couple days off and then get ready for Central Florida. Then we have a big trip out to Austin.”

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at s.arnold@umiami.edu.