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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
<p>Sam Riffice will compete with senior Duarte Vale in doubles against Auburn</p>

Sam Riffice will compete with senior Duarte Vale in doubles against Auburn

The Gators were in a similar position against Wake Forest like they were Saturday night versus North Carolina after collapsing in doubles for the second-straight match.

However, they didn’t let it affect the rest of the match like Saturday.

Florida surged back and dominated singles to seal the 4-1 consolation-round win over No. 6 Wake Forest Sunday evening in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoors Championship.

In doubles, it all came down to No. 13 junior Oliver Crawford and sophomore Sam Riffice on Court 1 for No. 3 Florida (11-2).

Before that, No. 24 senior Johannes Ingildsen and freshman Will Grant were the first to claim victory on Court 2 over the Wake Forest duo of Melios Efstathiou and Taha Baadi 6-2. Next, the Deacons’ Bar Botzer and Morgan Dill knocked off juniors Duarte Vale and Josh Goodger.

Crawford and Riffice rebounded after falling behind 5-3 to tie it at five apiece. But their comeback bid failed when Eduardo Nava and Henri Squire stole the next two games to give the doubles point to Wake Forest (8-3).

Shelton elected to shake up his singles lineup Sunday evening. He rolled out Goodger and No. 90 sophomore Greif on Courts 5 and 6 instead of Ingildsen and No. 112 freshman Blaise Bicknell. 

Compared to its match against UNC, Florida responded well in the first set of singles. It took the first set on five out of six courts. The only UF player to lose was junior Andy Andrade on Court 4 when he lost 6-2 to Efstathiou.

Goodger and No. 90 Greif were not in the lineup in singles against Columbia on Friday or the Tarheels on Saturday but were given the chance to shine.

Goodger beat Eduardo 6-2, 6-1 in straight sets to tie the match at 1-1, and Greif won over No. 100 Sid Banthia 7-5, 6-3.

No. 4 Riffice quickly followed Goodger and knocked off Squire 6-3, 6-2 on Court 2 to give the orange and blue their first lead of the match 2-1.

Greif finished third and his victory put UF a point away from sealing match point for UF.

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No. 17 Vale topped Baadi in the first 6-4 but fell by the same score in the second and was forced to go to a third set.

No. 23 Crawford and Andrade were the other two UF players required to go to a decisive third-set tiebreaker.

However, their matches would go unfinished because Vale clinched the match, winning 6-3 to secure the 4-1 Florida victory (6-4, 4-6, 6-3).

The Gators leave the ITA National Team Indoors Championship with a 2-1 record notching two top-10 ranked wins over No. 9 Columbia and No. 6 Wake Forest. They are off next weekend but begin SEC play on Feb. 28 against Alabama (7-2) at home at 5 p.m.

Follow Zachary Huber on Twitter @zacharyahuber. Contact him at zhuber@alligator.org.

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