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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

UF men's tennis senior Nestor Briceno and freshman Alex Lacroix were the last Gators standing Wednesday at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., but they came up short.

The pairing lost to Drake's 35th-ranked Dalibor Pavic and Maor Zirkin, 8-5, in the doubles qualifying third round, one win shy of qualifying for the main draw.

They defeated Wichita State's Albert Ballesta and Thiago Dos Santos, 9-8 (4), in the second round after a first-round walkover.

The freshman tandem of Jeff Dadamo and Johnny Hamui also made a run at the championships, falling in the qualifying second round Tuesday, 9-8 (3). They defeated Wisconsin's Moritz Baumann and Nolan Polley, 8-5, earlier in the day to take their first-round match.

Five UF players competed in the singles qualifying round Monday, but none made it past the second round.

Four players won their first-round matches, including two three-set battles.

Briceno got past Tulsa's Ross Cunningham, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1, while freshman Tyler Hochwalt fought off Texas Tech's Christian Rojmar in a close match, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Dadamo, ranked No. 121 nationally, showed some promise for a young player, defeating Ohio State's Drew Eberly, 6-4, 7-6 (2), but then he fell to Florida State's Jeff Chang in the singles qualifying second round, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Hamui, ranked No. 123, was the only UF player to drop his first-round match. He lost to North Carolina State's Jay Weinacker, 6-1, 7-5.

The Gators will place one player in the main singles draw and one pairing in the doubles draw, both of which begin Thursday.

Senior Greg Ouellette, ranked 10th nationally, will face off with Boise State's 38th-ranked Clancy Shields in the first round with the winner of that match moving on to play in the second round later in the day.

On the doubles side, the Gators' No. 8 duo of Ouellette and Hochwalt will meet Tulsa's 40th-ranked Cunningham and Andy Connelly.

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On the women's side, the doubles team of Csilla Borsanyi and Diana Srebrovic won two matches Wednesday to advance to the main draw of the contest.

The duo join Megan Alexander in the main draw of the tournament. The doubles team of Whitney Benik and Anastasia Revzina also won, defeating Nevada's Carolin Bailly and Maria Mizyuk to reach the quarterfinal round.

The tournament continues through the rest of the week.

-STAFF REPORT

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