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Gator Sports Round-up

Press releases from the University Athletic Association

Men’s Tennis: No. 3 Gators Advance to Quarterfinals, Drop No. 9 Columbia at ITA National Team Indoors

Florida makes its first appearance since 2012 in the ITA National Team Indoors quarterfinals, slated to face No. 5 North Carolina on Saturday in Madison, Wis.

The No. 3 Florida men’s tennis team makes its first appearance in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships quarterfinals since 2012, as the fifth-seeded Gators would clinch a 4-0 decision over No. 9 Columbia (3-2) in first round action at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wis. on Friday evening. UF continued its doubles point streak, now at 11 matches, as the top of the Gators’ lineup would handle business in bringing in the first three wins to move to 10-1 overall on the year, while adding a top-10 win to its resume.

The win additionally pushes an eight-match win streak for the blue and orange, as the last time UF notched an eight-match win streak within its first 11 matches was 1999.

Doubles was competitive from the start, as the Lions came out hungry to give UF its first doubles point loss of the season, though, UF would handle the attack in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to yet again claim the 1-0 lead.

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Juniors Duarte Vale and Josh Goodger climbed back from a 3-1 deficit to Columbia’s Alex Kotzen and Jason Lui, tallying five-straight games to nab a 6-3 decision and push a seven-match win streak for the Gators’ No. 3 tandem. Vale and Goodger have yet to be beaten in doubles action thus far, holding a 7-0 record.

The Gators then saw match points in both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, 5-4 and 6-5 respectively, though, No. 13-ranked Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice managed to seal the deal with an impressive top-five win over fifth-ranked Jack Lin and Jackie Tang, 6-4, to complete doubles action.

UF then stormed out taking five of the six first sets in singles prior to sophomore Sam Riffice and juniors Duarte Vale and Oliver Crawford closing the match with straight-set wins respectively.

Prior to Florida’s wins, first-year No. 112 Blaise Bicknell (6-3) and junior Andy Andrade (7-6 (8)) tallied first-set wins before No. 4 Riffice would blitz the Lions’ No. 109 Tang in the second set of his match in No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-0, to extend the Gators lead to 2-0 early on.

No. 11 Vale remains a force in singles, going on to add his ninth dual win of the year with a straight-set win over Pandole in No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-1, to push his seventh straight win this season. Additionally, Vale sits at 5-1 from the No. 3 position.

No. 23 Crawford would then put the nail in the coffin, as the captain would deliver a straight-set 6-1, 6-4 loss in upsetting No. 20 Jack Lin to collect a top-20 ranked win and clinch the first-round victory for the Gators. Crawford moves to 4-1 from the top spot, as the victory also serves as his fourth win over a top-80 ranked opponent this season (No. 20 Jack Lin, No. 22 Gabriel Decamps, No. 58 Maxime Lapraille and No. 78 Aleks Kovacevic).

QUOTABLES

Head Coach Bryan Shelton:
On how team competed against Columbia…
“Our guys competed really hard today against a very good Columbia team. We played with great energy an attacked relentlessly. Looking forward to playing again tomorrow. Every match here is a quality match, which will help us get better. I’d like to dedicate this win to our good friend and Gator Great, Armistead Neely. One of the greatest Gator tennis players of all time, who is fighting a battle of his own! Keep fighting, Army!”

UP NEXT:

  *   The Gators advance to face No. 5 North Carolina in Saturday’s quarterfinals. UNC – the field’s No. 4 seed – beat No. 14 South Carolina in its first round matchup, 4-2. First serve is slated for a 4:30 p.m. ET start.

Track & Field: Anderson Leads Gators’ Strong Opening in Clemson

Florida track and field opened the first day of competition Friday afternoon in Clemson with an NCAA-leading time, a series of other top-10 nationally ranked numbers and new placements on the program’s All-Time Top 10 list.

Sophomore Doneisha Anderson posted a personal-best time of 52.06 seconds in the 400 meters, landing at the No. 1 spot on the Division I Indoor Qualifying list. The quarter-miler, who entered the meet at with an NCAA fifth-ranked time, also moved into the No. 6 spot on UF’s All-Time Top 10 list.

Another strong performance came from junior Cory Poole. The hurdler crossed in 7.72 seconds in the semifinal portion of his main event, but finished with a bang and an improved time of 7.66 seconds in the final. His time, which is a new personal best, is tied for third in both Division I and school history.

Newcomer Semira Killebrew resumed her remarkable freshman season at the 60 meters. Killebrew, who entered the meet ranked third in school history, secured the No. 2 spot with a time of 7.23 seconds. The freshman, whose time ranks eighth in the country, topped her personal record by 0.06 seconds.

Out on the field, Junior Thomas Mardal opened up his season with a weight throw mark of 22.75 meters (74 feet, 7.75 inches), securing a top-10 spot on the Division I Indoor Qualifying list. His mark, which is a new personal record, ranks third in the country and remains second in school history.

Fellow thrower Amara Wiggan logged a 20.97-meter (68 feet, 9.75 inches) mark during the women’s weight throw portion of the day. The senior, who topped her personal best by almost three feet, ranks ninth in school history.

Competition resumes Saturday in Clemson as Florida’s jumpers look to maintain their top-10 national statuses in the triple jump, and the men’s and women’s Gators relay squads sprint into action.

Softball: Walton Second Fastest in NCAA Softball History to 900 Division

The No.8-ranked Florida softball team rolled its way to a pair of victories against North Dakota State, 5-0, and Longwood, 9-0 (5), during the opening day of the Bubly Invitational at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium Friday.

Head Coach Tim Walton earned his 900th career victory in the win over North Dakota State (2-4) and became the second fastest softball coach in history to earn 900 NCAA Division I wins. He now holds a career record of 901-232 (.795) after UF finished the evening with a victory over Longwood.

The Florida offense cranked out at least10 hits for the third time in seven games played this season in the shutout victory over North Dakota State. Sophomore Cheyenne Lindsey and Charla Echols both notched their third multi-hit games of the season as Lindsey was 2-for-3 and Echols was 2-for-4 in the effort.

Freshman Rylee Trlicek (3-0) hurled 6.1 shutout innings and limited the Bison to just four hits on 79 total pitches for her third win of the season. Sophomore Elizabeth Hightower entered in relief to close out the game for Walton’s 900th career victory.

In the second game against Longwood, the Gators were able to produced its third shutout of the season thanks to the efforts of junior Natalie Lugo and sophomore Danni Farley.

Lugo hurled 3.0 innings of no-hit softball before Farley entered in relief in the 4th inning. Farley limited the Lancers to just a pair of hits over the final two frames to secure the run-rule victory.

Offensively, sophomore Charla Echols caught fire going 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs that pushed across five of the nine runs on the day. Lindaman and Reynoso also notched multi-hit games as the both went 2-for-3.

STANDOUT STATISTIC

Head Coach Tim Walton became the second fastest softball head coach to reach 900 NCAA Division I wins in the Gators 5-0 victory over North Dakota State. Walton, in just his 18th season as a head coach, achieved the feat in just 1,132 career games.

He’s only 63rd coach in NCAA history and only the 36th current Division I head coach to reach the milestone. As of tonight, there are only 22 active head coaches with at least 900 career wins.

Walton still holds the nation’s highest win percentage among active NCAA Division I coaches with a .795 mark (min. 11 seasons).

NOTABLE NOTES

  •   The Gators improved their all-time records against North Dakota State, 4-0, and Longwood, 12-0.
  •   Charla Echols tied her single-game career-high with a two home run performance against Longwood. The Newnan, Ga. native also tallied a career-high five RBI in the win.
  •  In back-to-back games the Gators produced three players with multi-hit games: North Dakota State | Lindaman (2-for-3), Echols (2-for-4) and Lindsey (2-for-3) ||Longwood | Lindaman (2-for-3), Echols (2-for-3) and Reynoso (2-for-3)
  •  The Gators have recorded three games with 10 or more hits so far this season. In comparison, UF only amassed 13 games of 10 or more hits during the 2019 season.

NEXT UP

Florida returns for day two of the Bubly Invitational Saturday with a pair of games against North Dakota State at 11:30 a.m. and Longwood at 2 p.m.

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