Florida Blanks UCF for Second Win
The 12th-ranked Florida men’s tennis team shutout the UCF Knights, 7-0, on Wednesday evening at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. The Gators improved to 2-0 on the season with two matches scheduled for this weekend as UF hosts the 2013 ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
Once again, the Gators used a strong doubles performance to take a 1-0 lead in the match. At the No. 2 doubles position, Florida’s pair of Bob van Overbeek and Stephane Piro cruised to an 8-1 victory over UCF’s Francesc Aulina and Jorge Blasco. At No. 3 doubles, Billy Federhofer and Luke Johnson then clinched the point for UF with an 8-3 win over the Knights’ Matthew Gladstone and Jose Sangroniz.
“It was great to play a night match,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “I was pleased with our energy level. For playing a match at 5:00 at night, I thought the guys did a good job preparing. I was happy we came out of the blocks firing in doubles and were able to get large leads at the 2 and 3 spots and really establish some momentum in the match.”
The No. 1 doubles match was halted at 4-4 between the Gators’ Mike Alford and Florent Diep and UCF’s Amar Hromic and Juan Bolona.
In singles action, van Overbeek cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles over Sangroniz, giving the Gators a 2-0 lead in the match. Alford and Piro then finished within minutes of each other to clinch the victory for Florida. Alford defeated Gladstone, 6-2, 6-1, on court three and Piro beat Hromic, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 2 position.
“In singles, Bob did a great job of being the catalyst for the team in his first match this season for us,” said Coach Shelton. “I was happy to see him not only start the match well, but finish it off well. I thought overall we just played solid tennis and competed well tonight.”
Diep won at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-4, over UCF’s Blasco and Federhofer beat Aulina, 6-4, 6-3, on court five. Johnson completed the sweep with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 win at No. 6 singles over Bolona.
The Gators will be back in action this weekend when they host the 2013 ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Florida will play St. John’s on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a match between UNC-Wilmington and South Alabama. The winning teams will play on Sunday at 1 p.m. for a chance to advance to the ITA National Indoor tournament, held February 15-17in Seattle. There will also be a consolation match on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Kentucky Defeats Indiana on the Road
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After earning the doubles point behind wins on courts two and three, the No. 9 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team held strong in singles play to earn a 5-2 win over the No. 22 Indiana Hoosiers on the road in Bloomington, Ind., on Wednesday afternoon. With the win, the Wildcats advance their unblemished record to 3-0 on the season.
“This is a very good win for us today,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “This is a tough place to play and Indiana is no doubt a team that could have beat us if we weren’t ready to play. I thought our freshman did a lot of good things today and it’s a good learning experience for us."
Coach Kauffmann and his staff has put an emphasis on doubles matches in the 2013 season, and through three matches, Kentucky has come out victorious in eight of the nine doubles matches while earning the doubles point in all three matches.
As the match turned to singles play, Kentucky started off strong on many of the courts, collecting first-set wins on five of the six singles courts. The second point of the match went to No. 15 Anthony Rossi, who collected a 6-4, 6-1 win over Indiana’s Isade Juneau on the number one court. After trading games back and forth in the opening set, Rossi took command in the second set, breaking Juneau three times to collect the swift win.
“We didn’t start this match the way we wanted too,” UK senior captain Anthony Rossi said. “But, we had the courage and determination to turn things the other way. After the doubles, we had the momentum in our favor and we just used it the best we could to close out the match. This was good preparation for this weekend.” Rossi said.
UK took a commanding 3-0 lead in the match, before it was clinched by Tom Jomby, giving UK the 4-0 lead at the time, and thus clinching the match. Jomby won a first-set tiebreaker 10-8 before getting the break at 4-3 in the second set and collecting the 7-6 (8), 6-4 win to give UK the win.
Junior Grant Roberts made it 5-0 at the time when the Lexington, Ky., native took down Indiana’s Chris Essick in a second-set tiebreaker, giving him a 6-1, 7-6 (1) win at the No. 6 position.
“This was a good match for me today,” Roberts said of his play. “I thought I came out ready to play and it felt good to contribute to the team’s win this afternoon. This was a big win for the team as we get ready for the ITA Kick-Off this weekend with some great competition, so I was happy with my play.”
Indiana’s Sam Monette defeated Alejandro Gomez for UK at the No. 3 spot 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, while the only other point IU earned on the afternoon was in the No. 4 court, as No. 97Juan Pablo Murra fell to Dimitrije Tasic 6-3, 6-3, 3-6.
UK will next take to the court on Friday afternoon in the opening day of action at the Lexington regional of the 2013 Intercollegiate Kick-Off Weekend. The Wildcats will be hosting Texas, South Carolina and Michigan State in what is being called one of the toughest regions of the weekend. The Wildcats will take on Michigan State at 1:00 p.m. ET on Friday followed by Texas vs. South Carolina at 5:00. The two winners will meet for the title on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET, with the consolation match at 1:00 on Saturday.