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UF Men’s Tennis: Gators Notch Third Straight Sweep at No. 44 LSU

97th-ranked Andy Andrade (above) moves to 9-1 on the year in singles upon a team-high eight-match win streak.
Photo by Courtney Culbreath

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

No. 6 Florida continues to dominate in SEC play with its third straight 7-0 sweep over the 44th-ranked Tigers.

The No. 6-ranked University of Florida men’s tennis team recorded its third consecutive sweep in conference play, registering a 7-0 decision over the 44th-ranked LSU Tigers (9-4, 1-2 SEC) at the LSU Tennis Complex on Friday night. The Gators continue to make swift work of their SEC counterparts, as juniors Andy Andrade, Oliver Crawford, and sophomore Lukas Greif would be the ones to ring in the 1-2-3 punch for UF, upon claiming the doubles point, to clinch Florida’s third SEC victory of the year.

“Tonight was another chilly, windy night. These are the matches that make you better,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “Proud of how well our guys competed tonight. When we got pushed, our guys responded.”

The Gators received all they could handle from the Tigers to start out in doubles, but despite dropping court two, they corralled wins in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to claim the advantage over LSU, 1-0.

Juniors Duarte Vale and Josh Goodger seemed to return back to their winning ways after recording a 6-2 victory over LSU’s Boris Kozlov and Nick Watson, cutting a five-match win streak for the Tigers at the No. 3 position.

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After falling to a 1-4 deficit early on, 45th-ranked Johannes Ingildsen and Will Grant surged back, taking three straight games to close the gap to 4-5 against Rafael Wagner and Joey Thomas. Unfortunately, the Tigers would hold on for a 6-4 decision to drop Ingildsen and Grant to 6-3 from the No. 2 position on the year.

With the focus shifted to the No. 1 court, LSU managed to hang in with 19th-ranked Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice to force a tiebreak to settle the doubles point. After trading points up to a 4-4 deadlock, the Gators managed to find a groove and finish off Ronald Hohmann and Daniel Moreno, 7-6 (5), to secure UF’s fourth consecutive doubles point.

The Gators then proceeded to grab five first-set wins through the first portion of singles – a feat UF has impressively accomplished in 10 consecutive matches thus far.

No. 97 Andrade brought in the first victory for the blue and orange, continuing to stay blistering hot with his eighth straight of the season upon a 6-3, 6-0 lesson to Wagner in No. 4 singles. Andrade now moves to 7-1 from the No. 4 position.

No. 10 Crawford would be next, finishing LSU’s Malik Bhatnagar off with a second-set bagel, 6-4, 6-0, to push a 3-0 margin over the Tigers at No. 1 singles. The win pushes Crawford’s streak to four matches, serving as his eighth total of the year.

No. 115 Lukas Greif then pulled through with his second clincher of the year, dropping LSU’s Tomas Descarrega in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, to secure the Gators’ third conference victory in clinch-clinch fashion. As action ensued, Josh Goodger and No. 5 Sam Riffice found themselves in a pair of three-set duels; however, both would prevail to push the lead to 6-0 late in singles.

After hopping out to a swift 6-2 effort in his first set, Goodger split in the second to LSU’s Watson prior to blazing a 6-1 decision in the third for his fifth straight win in the lineup. Riffice then responded with a 6-2 decision in the second set to Hohman after a first-set blunder, going on to outlast the Tiger in a super tiebreaker, 10-8, to push his sixth straight and 11th win of the season.

Lastly, No. 22 Duarte Vale would go on to conclude the match, handing No. 96 Boriz Kozlov his first loss of the year, 6-4, 7-5, in No. 3 singles to secure Vale’s third win this season over a ranked opponent and team-high 13th overall.

UP NEXT:

  *   No. 6 Florida will travel to College Station, Texas in preparation for a heavyweight SEC matchup with 12th-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday, Mar. 8. First serve is scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start.

#6 University of Florida 7, #44 LSU 0