UF roundup: Woolcock to play for NCAA singles championship


Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 9:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 9:28 p.m.

ATHENS, Ga. – Florida senior Belinda Woolcock found a way to gut out a hard-fought three-set win Sunday and earn a spot in the finals of the NCAA Singles Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

Woolcock defeated Miami's 40th-ranked Estela Perez-Somarriba, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 in semifinals.

“Yeah, I am super happy to finish the match strong," Woolcock said. "She is a tough opponent. She fought really well, and didn't give anything away at the end so I had to really stick to my game plan, and stay positive. Even though I lost the chance to close out the match on the second set, I didn't dwell on the negative, and I just finished off super strong in the third."

Woolcock will play Michigan's No. 24th-ranked Brienne Minor at 11 a.m. today. Minor also needed three sets in her semifinals match, downing Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-0. This will be the first ever meeting between Woolcock and Minor.

“I don't know her too well, but I focused on trying to keep the same mindset and play the way I have been playing all tournament," Woolcock said. "I am just going to go out there and keep on doing what I have been doing because it has been working.

“My aggressive game, playing my game style, playing my game and moving very well, and using my athleticism. Yeah, I think that is what I'm going to do tomorrow.”

TRACK AND FIELD

Florida capped the NCAA East Preliminary in Lexington, Ky., late Saturday night with a monstrous performance, adding 14 NCAA Outdoor Championships entries to close the meet. The NCAA Outdoor Championships will be contested June 7-10 in Eugene, Ore.

“We did a lot of good things," UF coach Mike Holloway said. "You pick an event … everybody who went out there and competed with a lot of heart, a lot of pride, and a lot of passion. That's who we are.”

Fifth-year senior Kyra Jefferson led a quartet of runner-up finishers who punched tickets. Jefferson clocked a time of 22.69 seconds in the 200 meters, getting her back to nationals after missing the meet last year.

Sophomore Yanis David, the NCAA Indoor Championships runner-up, triple jumped 13.59 meters (44 feet, 7 inches), only finishing behind collegiate and American record holder Keturah Orji of Georgia. Junior Darrielle McQueen, finished seventh to nab her first NCAA Outdoors berth in the triple jump with a 13.37 meters (43 feet, 10.5 inches).

Both David and McQueen also qualified in the long jump Thursday.

Freshman Clayton Brown took second in the triple jump (16.14 meters / 52 feet, 11.5 inches) and fifth in the high jump, securing Eugene entries in both events.

Also in the men's high jump, junior Jhonny Victor, who missed all of last year's outdoor campaign due to injury, qualified for his first national meet. Victor grabbed the 12th and final spot via tiebreaker. The tie was unsettled at the final two heights, but Victor's first-run clearance at 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8.75 inches) provided the difference.

Grant Holloway posted the second-fastest time in the 110 hurdles quarterfinal (13.47 seconds), making him one of two freshmen to qualify from the East Preliminary. Holloway also qualified in the long jump Thursday.

Junior Lloydricia Cameron hurled 17.39 meters / 57 feet, 0.75 inches to earn her second straight trip to the NCAAs.

Skylar Ross-Ransom rounded out the individual qualifiers, racing to an at-large berth in the 100 hurdles. The redshirt junior's time of 13.21 topped her personal best by 0.02 seconds.

The Gators also qualified their men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400 relays for a fourth straight year.

“Now we've got to get back and get really sharp for the dance in two weeks," Holloway said. "Obviously, you want everybody to make it, but that's not realistic. We've got all the tools we need to go out (to Eugene) and compete for a national championship. That's all this meet is about: get in the top 12, give yourself a chance to get to Eugene and score.

"The biggest thing we have to do as a coaching staff is sit down and make some adjustments to a couple places where we can be better.”

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