The Florida Gators beat the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday in an SEC showdown in one of the team’s best performances of the year.
The men’s tennis team won 11 matches on Saturday in the second day of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, including eight against Georgia, before sweeping Ole Miss in seven matches Sunday to end the fall with a 78-22 record across all matches.
Senior Duarte Vale finished undefeated on the weekend, teaming with Sam Riffice to win three doubles matches for the week while also defeating Georgia’s Erik Grevelius, 6-1, 6-4, and Ole Miss’s Tim Sandkaulen, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in singles the final two days. Vale and Riffice, the team captains, were a force this fall as a doubles tandem, winning all four matches they worked together.
Junior Lukas Greif also went 5-0 for the week, as his three singles wins added to the 19-3 record in singles for the week. The Gators posted a staggering 85.3% (58-10) win percentage in their 68 singles matches this fall.
The real shining point of the weekend was the doubles performance. The Gators had a winning record all three days in doubles for the first time this fall. After a 3-2 start on Friday, the team went on to win four of five doubles matches Saturday, their most single-day wins in the format this fall. They then won a pair of doubles matches against Ole Miss Sunday to move their mark to 9-3 for the week (a season-best) and 20-12 for the year.
Almost 80 wins in 100 matches was definitely the kind of beginning to the 2020-21 campaign coach Bryan Shelton was looking for. He hopes he can build off of the momentum as the team looks forward to the spring campaign they were unable to complete a year ago.
“I know the best is yet to come,” Shelton said in a release from the team.
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Junior Lukas Greif left the Southern Intercollegiate Championships undefeated, having won all five of his matches.
Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.