Athens, Ga. - Stetson's 57th-ranked doubles duo of senior Valentina Galbarini (Montevideo, Uruguay) and freshman Carolina de los Santos (Montevideo, Uruguay) battled fifth-ranked Merrit Boonstra and Allie Will of Florida down to the wire but ultimately fell 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 in the second round of the NCAA women's tennis doubles championships on Friday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The two Hatters rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the final set to within 5-4 before finally succumbing to the Gator duo.
A gap of 52 places in the national rankings appeared to make no difference at the outset as Galbarini and de los Santos grabbed the first set 7-5. Boonstra and Will got ahead 4-2 midway through the second set and eventually held off the persistent Hatters to take the 7-5 win and force a third and deciding set. The Gator tandem went up 3-0 before the Stetson pair fought back with four wins in the next six games. Stetson had an opportunity to make a third straight set go to a 7-5 result or even potentially force a winner-take-all tiebreaker but the Florida players would live up to their lofty #5 ranking in the last game and closed the door on the Hatters.
Today's match marked the conclusion of the outstanding college career of Galbarini, a three-time First Team All-Atlantic Sun honoree and 2007 A-Sun Freshman of the Year. De los Santos, the 2010 A-Sun Freshman of the Year and All-Atlantic Sun First Team member, will highlight a strong returning and recruiting class for Head Coach Sasha Schmid next fall.