The Florida women's tennis team seems to enjoy dramatic contests in the NCAA Tournament. For the second straight year, the team played a match that came down to the final singles contest in the Final Four, only to prevail at the end thanks to a comeback, this time beating Duke, 4-3, in the national semifinal, thanks to Alexandra Cercone's singles victory.
Florida went up 3-0 in the match, taking the doubles point with wins by the teams of Allie Will and Sophie Oyen and Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather and singles victories by Embree and Mather, and giving the Gators the enviable position of needing just one more point to take the victory. But Duke rallied to 3-3 by topping Will, Olivia Janowicz, and Oyen in singles play.
That left Cercone as the Gators' final hope — and she delivered. After losing her first set 5-7 and taking the second set 6-4, Cercone fell behind 0-2 in the third set, then rattled off six of the next seven games, including four straight, to propel Florida to its third consecutive NCAA Tournament final.
Florida will face UCLA, a familiar foe from other Gators postseasons, for their second straight national title on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Eastern.