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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

For the UF men's tennis team, the first taste of indoors was bittersweet.

The No. 7 Gators were defeated by Illinois 4-3 in their first road dual match. UF (5-1) held on until a third set on Court 1 clinched the victory.

No. 87 Carlos Cueto, returning to the lineup after sitting out the last match, was beaten in the match-deciding set 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. It was the only match to reach a third set.

On the other hand, the Gators experienced indoor play, something UF coach Andy Jackson stressed upon leading up to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Championships.

Before traveling to Champaign, Ill., Jackson said the younger players on the team would have become acclimated to indoors to compete for the national championship.

After splitting the first two doubles matches, Cueto and partner Alex Lacroix won a 9-8 tiebreaker over Brian Livingston and Dennis Nevolo, earning the point for UF.

Lacroix tallied a 7-5, 6-4 score over Ruan Roelofse in singles action. Sophomore Jeff Dadamo was the only other UF player to win his singles match, beating Billy Heiser 7-6, 6-4.

The Gators will remain in Illinois for the ITA Indoor Championships beginning Friday in Chicago.

The University of Illinois is also one of the 16 participating teams.

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