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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Duarte Vale
Duarte Vale

It was a battle between the most dominant predators of two different biomes — the swamp and the jungle.

No. 6 Florida defeated No. 44 LSU 7-0 Friday night at the LSU Tennis Complex in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

After losing the doubles point in back-to-back matches at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 15-16, Florida has found its rhythm again, starting a new winning streak in doubles.

Juniors Duarte Vale and Josh Goodger were the first Gators to win in doubles on Court 3. They defeated Boris Kozlov and Nick Watson 6-2.

No. 45 senior Johannes Ingildsen and freshman Will Grant fell behind 3-1 to LSU’s duo of Rafael Wagner and Joey Thomas and never recovered. LSU (9-4, 1-2) beat them 6-4 on Court 2.

And just like last Friday versus No.17 Alabama, doubles came down to Court 1.

No. 19 junior Oliver Crawford and sophomore Sam Riffice for UF (15-2, 3-0) were forced to go to a tiebreaker despite never trailing in the set versus Ronald Hohmann and Daniel Moreno. 

They grabbed the tiebreaker 7-5 to hand Florida the 1-0 lead into singles.

Last Sunday, coach Bryan Shelton said he was frustrated with their doubles play because his team didn’t start the way he wanted it to even after sweeping Auburn and Mercer 7-0.

He also added that he continues to emphasize doubles because he believes his singles lineup doesn’t have any holes in it.

“To win points against us, you're going to have to really go deep,” Shelton said after Sunday’s matchups. “And you're gonna have to execute on those big points and if you can do that consistently then you have an opportunity, but I like that our guys push their opponents to have to come up with something special to beat them.”

In singles, No. 5 Riffice was the only Gator trailing after the first set. Hohmann beat Riffice 6-4 on Court 2. 

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However, Goodger started Florida’s dominance in singles when he knocked off Watson 6-2 on Court 6 in the first set.

Next, No. 115 Florida sophomore Lukas Greif topped Tomas Descarrega 6-1 on Court 5 to start his singles match.

Then, No. 98 junior Andy Andrade won over Tigers’ Rafael Wagner 6-3 on Court 4.

On Court 3, No. 22 Vale beat No. 96 Kozlov 6-4 in the first set.

No. 10 Crawford was the final UF player to take the first. He defeated Malik Bhatnagar 6-4.

Riffice then, surged back to steal the second against Hohmann 6-2 requiring his match to head to a decisive third set.

Andrade extended Florida’s lead to 2-0 over LSU, knocking off Wagner 6-3, 6-0.

Watson stormed back in the second set versus Goodger 6-3, forcing their match to a crucial third set. 

Crawford put UF one singles win away from taking the match, beating Bhatnagar 6-4, 6-0. 

Greif clinched the match against Descarrega, winning 6-1, 6-4.

Goodger captured the third-set victory, earning the match victory over Watson.

Following Goodger, Riffice won a tiebreaker 10-8 over Hohmann (4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8)) to put Florida one win away from taking the sweep.

Finally, Vale acquired the sweep for Florida versus Kozlov 6-4, 7-5.

The Gators travel to College Station to face No. 12 Texas A&M (9-3, 1-1) on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.

 

 You can contact Zachary Huber at zhuber@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @zacharyahuber.

 

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