Those who only see the final score will believe that the Florida women's tennis team took an easy 4-1 victory over the Clemson Tigers in the NCAA round of 16. They'd be wrong. The No. 2 seeded Gators had to scratch and claw their way to victory over the No. 15 seeded Tigers (see what I did there?). After Florida won the doubles point behind victories at No, 1 and No. 2 singles, Clemson started the singles matches with a bang. Clemson took the first set in four of the six matches to back the Gators into a corner. But that is often when a champion caliber team is most dangerous.
Instead of backing down, the Gators bowed up. Sophomore Lauren Embree earned a point at No, 2 singles in a three set thriller, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Junior Joanna Mather added another singles point for the Gators, despite getting skunked in the first set 6-0. Mather rebounded to take the next two sets 6-4, 6-3. Despite dropping a point at No. 3 singles and trailing at No. 1 singles, the Gators clinched the match with Seminole Freshman Alex Cercone's marathon 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(4) victory at No, 5 singles.
The Gators (28-1) advance to face the No. 7 seeded Miami Hurricanes (20-6) in the quarterfinal round Sunday at 3pm at Stanford.