Sunday, October 2, 2022
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Women’s Tennis Athletes of the Week

10 hours ago
SEC Staff

Photo: SEC Staff

Player of the Week: McCartney Kessler came up big for the Gators in a dramatic regular season finale to claim the fourth seed in the SEC Tournament. Needing a victory over No. 23 South Carolina to clinch the double-bye, No. 66 Alicia Dudeney and Kessler were dominant in doubles, earning their second-straight ranked win as a pair. The Florida squad gained the lead at 2-1 early in the match, and they never looked back, taking down the No. 35 Sarah Hamner and Megan Davies to give UF an early advantage in doubles play. In the premiere match of the weekend, No. 12 Kessler matched up with No. 5 Sarah Hamner at the top singles position. Kessler did not disappoint. The graduate enforced her will in the opening set en route to a 6-1 opening frame victory. Hamner, a top-five player in the nation for a reason, responded in the second set, opening up a 4-3 lead over the UF graduate midway through the second. Kessler remained composed to record three-straight wins to take the match, 6-1, 6-4. Kessler finished her season with a 12-1 mark in SEC play, including a 16-4 mark in dual singles play. In doubles, Kessler boasted a 13-4 record in dual matches. She boasts a total of 174 career victories, the 37th-best number in Florida history.

Freshman of the Week: Alicia Dudeney was once again crucial for the Gators victory over No. 23 South Carolina, picking up a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon. Alongside partner McCartney Kessler, Dudeney picked-up her second-consecutive ranked win in doubles competition, using a dominant performance against No. 35 Sarah Hamner and Megan Davies to win, 6-2. The freshman is now a strong 12-4 in dual match doubles on the year and 26-10 overall. All eyes fell on court three for the match deciding point, where Dudeney would have to comeback against one of the most veteran players on South Carolina’s roster, Megan Davies. With Dudeney and Davies exchanging punches early, the South Carolina Gamecock would outlast Dudeney in a tight opening set, 7-5. That would not deter Dudeney, however, as the United Kingdom native recovered with a strong 6-3 effort in the second set. With the double-bye in the SEC Tournament on the line, Dudeney put together an elite effort in the final frame. The freshman raced out to a 5-0 lead before Davies managed to take back-to-back games to pull within 5-2. Once again, Dudeney flipped the script on her opponent, dominating the final game to secure the match and Florida’s 10th SEC victory, 6-2. Like doubles, Dudeney boasts a 12-4 clip in singles competition during the dual match season, including a 7-3 SEC record and 24-9 overall mark.



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