Roundup: Gators top Stanford, extend home streak to 163

Florida's Belinda Woolcock hits her forehand against Stanford's Taylor Davidson, Sunday at the Ring Tennis Complex. Woolcock won her match, clinching the win for the team. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent
Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 8:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 8:48 p.m.

In a regular-season weekend that was one of the most challenging and competitive in recent memory for the Florida women's tennis team, the Gators came through it with a pair of wins and their nation's-best home winning streak intact.

After defeating No. 6, and NCAA runner-up, Oklahoma State on Saturday 4-2, top-ranked Florida defeated reigning NCAA champion and No. 5 Stanford 4-1 Sunday at Ring Tennis Complex.

The Gators (9-0) rose to the challenge to extend their home win streak to 163 consecutive wins. It is the nation's longest active home win streak of any NCAA Division I team in any sport.

Florida opened the match between the two national rivals by capturing the doubles point with wins on courts one and three.

The clinching match in last year's meeting was the same matchup in this season's regular-season bout, pitting Florida's Belinda Woolcock against Taylor Davidson. The Cardinal came away with the 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3 outcome last season. This time, it Woolcock's turn to shine, as she rallied after dropping the first set to post a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 win in two hours and eight minutes to secure the dual match win.

Woolcock's heroics were set up by wins from Ingrid Neel and Brooke Austin. Neel, a freshman, was the first off the court with an impressive 6-1, 6-3 win at the No. 2 position.

Stanford (4-1) got on the board with a win on court No. 6, but Austin showed her grit and also rallied for a tough, three-set win, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, that gave the Gators a 3-1 lead.

"There's something about these matchups, these Florida-Stanford matchups," UF coach Roland Thornqvist said. "They've gotten us on a couple of easy ones at their place. Their place is as tough of a place as ours is to play, but when you play them here, our fans help us. Physically, we were dominant today. When you look at the scoreboard in the last 30 minutes, I just felt like we were different physically. I told them in the locker room that it's a good feeling knowing that you're the strongest team because we really pride ourselves on that.'

Softball: Top-ranked Florida capped the Aquafina Invitational with a 5-0 win over FIU at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.

“I think it was good for us to get out there and get a lot of looks," UF coach Tim Walton said. "The hardest thing to do is just prepare for all the different looks you are going to get pitching-wise and to be able to turn the page pretty quickly. That's probably the toughest part of the preparation but I think in those 10 days we've gotten a lot of different looks."

The Gators (10-1) jumped out in front early in the contest thanks to freshman Jaimie Hoover's second career grand slam in the first inning. Hoover's hit was set up with walks with two outs to Nicole DeWitt, Kayli Kvistad and Aleshia Ocasio.

Kvisitad (2-for-3) drove in the only other run in the contest in the top of the seventh inning with a double off the top of the left center wall pads to score Justine McLean.

Sophomore Kelly Barnhill (4-0) commanded the circle again, as she extended her scoreless inning streak to 24.0. Barnhill tossed a 5.2 innings with 12 strikeouts while she scattered a trio of hits and four walks.

The Gators will have a short break with no midweek games scheduled before their trip to Orlando, where they will take part in the Citrus Classic. The first pair of games are scheduled for Friday at 1:15 p.m. against Syracuse and will be followed by a 3:30 p.m. matchup against Fordham.

Men's golf: Florida had four individuals place inside the top 10, while the team finished in fourth place with a 54-hole score of +13 (853) at the SunTrust Gator Invitational on the UF golf course.

Through some challenging weather conditions over the two-day tournament, UF was the only school to have four individuals place inside the top 10. Alejandro Tosti and Andy Zhang finished in a tie for sixth place with score of one-over 211. The junior and freshman recorded scores of four-under (66) as they each climbed 13 spots on the leaderboard in Sunday's final round, respectively.

Sophomore Sam Horsfield finished tied for eighth and bookended his weekend with scores of two-under (68) and one-over (71) to card a two-over (212) for the Invitational. In addition, redshirt senior A.J. Crouch rounded out the Gators in the top 10, as he finished tied for 10th with a three-over, 213.

After recording the top team scores in rounds one and two, Arkansas held off the field in Sunday's finale to capture the title with a five-over 845 for the weekend. Arkansas sophomore Charles Kim won the individual title with a six-under 204. This was the second time that Arkansas captured the team title, the first coming in 2014.

Women's basketball: At Lexington, four Gators netted double-figures in a scoring effort paced by freshman Delicia Washington's 14 points, but it wasn't enough as Florida dropped a 67-48 decision to Kentucky.

Kentucky (19-8, 10-4 SEC) used a handful of mini-runs and Florida (13-13, 4-10) was able to counter most of them and get back within two points. The Gators had just finished whittling a 10-point deficit down to two, 31-29, early in the second half. That's when the Wildcats used a 15-4 run and took a 47-33 lead with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Florida next plays at Tennessee at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Men's tennis: At Charlottesville, Va., No. 16 Oklahoma defeated No. 6 Florida 4-2 in the consolation rounds of the National Team Indoor Championships. UF is now 7-3, while the Sooners are 9-2.

Women's golf: At New Orleans, seniors Kelly Grassel and Maria Torres paced Florida in the first round of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Championship. Both Gators ended the day in a tie for ninth place at one-under (71).

As a team, Florida finished day in a tie for fourth place, posting a four-over (292). The Gators carded a tournament-high 15 birdies during the first round.

Miami leads the tournament at one-under (287), and Denver's Mariell Bruun and UM's Dewi Weber are at the top of the leaderboard at four-under (68) on the par-72, 6.239-yard English Turn Golf & Country Club.

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