Women's tennis: Embree, Gators fall to Stanford in NCAA semifinals

The standout dual match career of Lely High School graduate Lauren Embree at the University of Florida came to an end Monday night.

Embree, a senior, and the Gators lost to Stanford, 4-3, in the national semifinals in Urbana, Ill. Embree lost her final match, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 singles to the Cardinal’s Nicole Gibbs.

Embree will be in the individual singles and doubles championships, which begin Wednesday in Urbana.

Stanford took a 3-2 lead, but Florida’s Olivia Janowicz broke to win and evened the match. The Gators’ Alexandra Cercone and Stanford’s Krista Hardebeck split the first two sets in tiebreakers, but Hardebeck broke for a 4-3 lead in the third set, and went on to take the deciding match.

Embree, the top-ranked singles player in the country, had her streak of 21 straight singles victories snapped. She also came in 15-0 in NCAA dual match singles competition.

Stanford’s Gibbs and Kristie Ahn also beat Embree and Sofie Oyen, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles. That left Embree with 118 career dual match doubles victories, one of shy of tying for fourth in school history. The loss dropped her 19-3 in NCAA dual match doubles.

Florida’s last previous postseason loss was to Stanford, 4-3, in the 2010 national championship. The Gators, who were the defending national champions, also beat the Cardinal to win the 2011 title.

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