Best season in Syracuse tennis history ends against No. 1 Florida in 2nd round of NCAA tournament

Courtesy of The ACC

Gabriela Knutson and Syracuse fell to top-seeded Florida, 4-0, to end SU's best season ever.

The best season in Syracuse history came to an end Saturday with a 4-0 defeat to top-seeded Florida. The 25-ranked Orange (15-9, 7-7 Atlantic Coast) reached the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history and won its first-round match against Georgia State on Saturday before the Gators (23-2, 13-0 Southeast Conference) put a dominant end to the run.

Syracuse and Florida did not finish the final three singles games.

“It’s been a tremendous year,” Syracuse head coach Younes Limam told “This team showed so much fight and perseverance all season long and they will be remembered forever as the first SU tennis team that made the NCAA tournament and reached the round of 32.”

Florida started the day by winning two of three doubles games in convincing fashion. The Orange’s duo of Nicole Mitchell and Maria Tritou lost 6-1 and Syracuse’s top doubles team for much of the year, Gabriella Knutson and Valeria Salazar, lost 6-3.

Knutson and Salazar had won six straight doubles games coming into the tournament before losing both of their tournament games.

Anna Shkudun and Dina Hegab were up 4-3 in their doubles game, but did not finish once Florida secured the doubles point to go up 1-0 in the match.

Florida’s dominance carried into singles as the Gators won three straight games.

First, Hegab lost her match in two sets 6-2, 6-0 to put Florida up 2-0. Then Libi Mesh lost her singles match 6-1, 6-2 to put Florida up 3-0.

Tritou lost her first set, 6-2, and a back-and-forth second set against Florida’s Kourtney Keegan, 6-3, to end the game.

Tritou started the year out hot winning six of her first seven games, but she lost her final seven games in 14 straight sets.

The match was called after Tritou’s loss. Shkudun, Knuston and Salazar did not finish their games.

The doubles pair of Knutson and Salazar will compete in the NCAA doubles tournament, which runs May 25-30 at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Shkudun was selected as an alternate for the singles tournament.


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