(Via NCAA.com live stream, provided by skigator93.)
Florida's women's tennis team needed to win its last matches against Stanford in the 2011 NCAA Tournament final and Duke in Monday's 2012 NCAA Tournament Final Four to win those dramatic contests. Today, the Gators dispensed with the drama and opted for dominance, sweeping UCLA 4-0 for the program's second consecutive national title and sixth overall.
As usual, Lauren Embree provided the day's biggest thrill. But after battling back to win Florida's final singles point against Stanford in 2011 and helping fend off Duke on Monday, the junior's Tuesday went relatively smoothly: she and doubles partner Joanna Mather didn't even need to finish their match, with the pairings of Allie Will and Sofie Oyen and Alex Cercone and Caroline Hitimana taking their doubles matches to give the Gators the doubles point, and then Embree blitzed McCall Jones 6-4, 6-0 to clinch the Gators' title.
Cercone and Oyen won their singles matches to put Embree in position to clinch, and Embree wasn't the only Gator still with a chance to win a match, after Mather and Olivia Janowicz forced third sets in their singles contests. But Embree's victory made those matches, and Will's likely loss in No. 1 singles play, moot; gave the Gators their second national title of the calendar and academic year, following men's indoor track; and earned her a second consecutive NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player award.
Women's tennis' six national titles leads all Florida sports, and the title gives the Gators 28 national championships across NCAA, AIAW, and FBS .Florida has won 19 national titles since the hiring of Jeremy Foley as athletic director in 1992, coaches hired by Foley have 12 of the 19 titles in that span, and eight different programs have claimed national titles under his watchful eye.