SAN DIEGO – Florida women’s tennis doubles pair, Carly Briggs and Marlee Zein, will represent the Gators at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Fall National Championship in San Diego, beginning on Thursday, Nov. 4.The duo qualified for the national championships at the ITA Southeast Regional where they finished as the runners-up, earning three victories in doubles competition throughout the weekend.
The Championships are the grand finale to the fall collegiate tennis season and feature 64 of the nation’s top collegiate singles players (32 men and 32 women) and 64 of the nation’s top collegiate doubles teams (32 men’s teams and 32 women’s teams). The event is in its fifth year, having replaced the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships beginning in 2017. Doubles competition is composed of 24 regional selections, two ITA All-American representatives (champion and finalist), three at-large selections, two ITA wild cards and one ITA Cup wild card. Headlining doubles play in San Diego will be the preseason No. 3 ranked team of Tatiana Makarova and Jayci Goldsmith from Texas A&M. Also joining the field from the preseason ITA preseason top-10 will be No. 4 Natasha Subhas and Sofia Munera (Virginia) as well as No. 8 Anna Bylin and Brooke Killingsworth (Wake Forest). In the Southeast Regional finale, Briggs and Zein matched-up with No. 33 Catherine Gulihar and Ana Paula Melilo of North Florida, pushing the opposition to their limit. The highly-contested opening frame of the match went to the North Florida pair, 7-5. Briggs and Zein bounced-back for a strong 6-2 second set, forcing a 10-point tiebreaker for the match. Gulihur and Melilo managed to hold on for the 10-5 victory. The last appearance for the Gators in the ITA Fall National Championships came during the fall of 2019 when McCartney Kessler qualified as the Southeast Regional champion in singles competition.
Florida Gators Athletics contributed to this column