Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Before the Florida tennis teams start Southeastern Conference play in March, they’ll have to get through two top-15 teams at home on Sunday.

In its first match in a week, the No. 6 men’s team will face No. 13 Illinois at 1 p.m., and the No. 9 women’s team will follow up its 7-0 win over No. 15 FSU with a clash against No. 6 Duke, the defending national champions, at 4 p.m.

The Blue Devils will present a stiff challenge, and UF women’s coach Roland Thornqvist praised Duke’s “championship attitude.”

“As defending national champions, they’re used to winning,” Thornqvist said.  “Duke won’t be intimidated by playing at Florida.”

Duke is 10-1 on the season, with the lone loss coming against then-No. 11 North Carolina.

Last weekend, the Blue Devils topped No. 7 Michigan and Furman.

They opened Atlantic Coast Conference play Thursday with a sweep of N.C. State at home.

Senior Anastasia Revzina isn’t getting caught up in the Duke hype.

“When we go out there and play, we’re not thinking about rankings or who won what,” Revzina said.

As one of two contributing upperclassmen, Revzina is considered a team leader, and she has been impressed with the young group  of players she is charged with leading.

Three of the Gators’ four freshmen were important factors in this week’s sweep of FSU.

“They’ve gotten much better,” Revzina said. “They’re more mature now. It has been good for them to play a few matches before SEC season.”

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

The men’s team has also benefited from the contributions of some of its newcomers.

Bob Van Overbeek was named SEC Freshman of the Week after a strong performance that helped put the team in position early to clinch the victory against USF last week.

His doubles partner, freshman Billy Federhofer, said Van Overbeek’s positive attitude has helped the two freshmen adjust to the learning curve of playing college tennis.

“He’s so positive out there, which makes him a fun guy to have on your team,” Federhofer said. “We lost our first couple matches partly because we were nervous. Now, we’re playing better because we’re more positive, more confident.”

Van Overbeek and Federhofer have made an effort to win the doubles set on court No. 3 early to help take the pressure off the team’s leaders, the country’s No. 10-ranked doubles team of Alexandre Lacroix and Antoine Benneteau. 

And their match could be the deciding factor against Illinois.

“Illinois is really good in doubles,” UF men’s tennis coach Andy Jackson said. “There’s a long history of close, tight matches between these two teams.”

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.