It was a busy week on the courts for Florida men’s and women’s tennis teams.
The men competed in two tournaments: the M25 Naples Tournament in Naples, Florida, from Monday to Sunday, and Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The women also joined the men in Lakewood Ranch after the weekend.
The Gators’ weekend at the M25 ended early in the weekend. The doubles duo of junior Oliver Crawford and sophomore Sam Riffice made it all the way to the finals, but it fell in a super tiebreaker in the third set to Colombia’s Jose Daniel Bendeck and Christian Rodrigues. This was just the second loss of the fall season for the duo.
At the Clay Court Classic, No. 31 junior Andy Andrade won the singles title on Sunday, defeating teammate No. 68 Josh Goodger in straight sets 6-0, 7-5. It was his second title of the fall season, his first coming in the Bedford Cup on Oct. 13. It was also the second title of his playing career in this tournament. He won in the fall of 2017.
The women’s tennis team found success this weekend just like the men’s team. Florida took home the doubles title on Sunday. Sophomore Marlee Zein and senior Tsveta Dimitrova beat Nebraska twins Chloe and Ellie Kuckelman 8-2. The Gators duo was a winning combination this weekend, going 4-0 over the weekend. Following the doubles match, Zein returned to the court for the singles title, where she fell to Oklahoma’s Marcelina Podlinksa in straight sets.
“I was really pleased with our improved play and competitive spirit,” coach Roland Thornqvist said in a release.
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Noah is a third year journalism-sports and media student from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has been with The Alligator since Spring 2019 and has covered men’s and women’s tennis, gymnastics and volleyball. When he isn’t on his beat, Noah is usually sadden over his beloved South Florida sports teams, such as the Heat and Dolphins.