The Florida’s men’s tennis team scored their first upset of the season on Saturday, defeating the University of Texas in convincing fashion to put the Gators’ record at 3-0 on the year.
The No. 21 Gators swept the No. 20 Longhorns 4-0 at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center in their first of two matches at the 2016 ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Austin, Texas.
Junior Elliott Orkin’s 6-4, 7-5 win over UT’s Harrison Scott clinched the victory for the Gators, while senior Diego Hidalgo and sophomore Jordan Belga also won their singles matches in straight sets.
Freshman Alfredo Perez, sophomore Chase Perez-Blanco and freshman McClain Kessler did not complete their matches after Orkin’s victory guaranteed the Gators were moving on to the regional final.
Florida’s play in doubles competition was just as solid as their performance in singles competition. The duo of Orkin and junior Maxx Lipman won their match 6-3, followed by a 6-4 victory from the pair of Perez-Blanco and redshirt sophomore Joshua Wardell.
Hidalgo and senior Gordon Watson were in a tight 5-5 battle with UT’s Michael Riechmann and Adrian Ortiz when their match was cut short due to time constraints.
The victory over Texas meant that the Gators will face Texas Tech on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Austin, after the Red Raiders defeated Ole Miss 4-0 following Florida’s win over the Longhorns, to determine the winner of the Texas regional.
The No. 15 Red Raiders are undefeated on the season, boasting a 7-0 record, and the winner will also qualify for the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, held at the University of Virginia in mid-February.
A victory over Texas Tech would send the Gators back to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time since 2014.
UF coach Bryan Shelton (right) congratulates McClain Kessler during Florida's 6-1 win over Troy on Jan. 17, 2016, at the Ring Tennis Complex.