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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Nestor Briceno isn't done yet.

While the UF men's tennis team lost in the Round of 16, the singles competition is still going, and Briceno made the most of it. UF's senior edged Texas' 10th-ranked Dimitar Kutrovsky 6-4, 7-6 (4).

It was the first singles appearance of Briceno's career. He will now face Pepperdine's 37th-ranked Bassam Beidas today. It was his third win against an opponent ranked in the top 10 and sixth-straight singles victory. He hasn't lost a singles match since the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

While Briceno came through, the rest of his Gator teammates didn't. Senior Greg Ouellette's decorated UF career came to a close with a thud as he was upset by Southern Cal's 29th-ranked Kaes Van't Hof 6-4, 6-2. Ouellette's 110 singles wins rank fourth in UF history. He also has won 71 doubles matches.

It wasn't any better for the women, either. Csilla Borsanyi and Julia Cohen were both swept in straight sets. Cohen lost 6-4, 6-0 to Southern Cal's Amanda Fink, and Borsanyi was creamed by California's Claire Ilcinkas 6-3, 6-2. The UF women will lose Whitney Benik heading into next season, and the young Gators should reload well heading into next year. The same can be said for the men as UF will only really lose Ouellette and Briceno.

No. 29 Cohen has been in the No. 1 slot all through the dual-match season and finished the season 14-8, with 12 of those matches against nationally ranked opponents. The women's team was eliminated when they lost to UCLA 4-2 in the NCAA Semifinals on Monday. Benik would've had a chance to finish her career with 100 singles victories, but she lost to the Bruins and was unable to do so.

There is still some hope for the Gators, however, as they'll start doubles play today. Sophomore Megan Alexander and Freshman Marrit Boonstra will play against Fresno State's Renata Kucerkova and Anastasia Petukhova. The last UF tandem to win a doubles tandem was Whitney Laiho and Jessica Lehnhoff in 2001.

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