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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

It took until the third match of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Championships for the UF men's team to face the inevitable Southeastern Conference matchup.

The No. 7 Gators were beaten by Mississippi in the semifinals of the consolation bracket on Sunday.

Following a 4-1 beatdown of No. 18 Michigan on Saturday, UF (6-3) left the Midtown Tennis Club on the receiving end.

The Rebels clinched the doubles point when the No. 1 pairing of Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge avenged its preseason SEC Indoor loss to UF's Antoine Benneteau and Joey Burkhardt.

Benneteau dropped his singles match and Jeff Dadamo followed with a loss of his own. With the losses, the Gators were staring at a 3-0 deficit.

Burkhardt was the first to put a point on the board when he defeated Christoph Theimann 6-2, 6-4.

Surprisingly, it was Alex Lacroix whose 4-6, 6-3, 1-6 loss clinched the point for Mississippi. Going into the match, the sophomore was undefeated in the spring and took down four top-100 singles players.

Neither Carlos Cueto nor Erik Corace finished his match after Mississippi had already won.

UF will return to Gainesville on Feb. 20 for a dual match against South Florida and begins SEC play March 6. It will meet Mississippi again on March 27 at Linder Stadium.

WOMEN GET WIN IN WISCONSIN: After losing their first two matches of the ITA Indoors, tallying three consecutive losses, the skidding Gators women (4-3) defeated No. 13 Fresno State 4-3 on Sunday.

No. 10 UF lost the doubles point but fought back with dominating singles play.

No. 34 Marrit Boonstra, No. 99 Anastasia Revzina and freshman Barbara Pinterova were each victorious.

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The match hinged on Alexander's final set against Tinesta Rowe. Alexander broke serve to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The Gators return home Feb. 21 to face Troy.

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