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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Gators continue busy weekend against Auburn

Women’s and men’s teams look for back-to-back wins after dominating Friday

<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

Florida’s challenges have only just begun as inter-conference competition continues throughout the weekend.

The momentum is in the Gators’ favor after they rolled over the Crimson Tide Friday afternoon. Now, the men and women of Florida tennis look ahead to their next conference opponent, the Auburn Tigers.

Women’s: No. 22 Florida (3-3) visits Auburn (6-1)

Following a decisive 4-1 win over a stout Alabama squad, the Gators will travel west on Interstate 20 to Auburn to continue the SEC run.

The Tigers are riding high on a three-game win streak and topped No. 20 South Carolina Friday afternoon 4-2. Despite being behind 1-0 after doubles, Auburn regrouped and won four of the six singles games to call it a day.

Junior Yu Chen and sophomore Carolyn Ansari, who are both on a two-match win streak in singles play, are keeping the Tigers afloat. Sophomore Selin Ovunc and graduate student Taylor Russo, who are on a three-game winning streak of their own, both winning their matches against South Carolina.

The starting tandem of No. 32 McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein, who found a roll after overcoming Alabama, are on the hunt for a third consecutive doubles win.

Doubles action begins Sunday at 1 p.m. from Yarbrough Tennis Center. Follow the live stats on FloridaGators.com

Men’s: No. 11 Florida (5-1) hosts Auburn (3-5)

Saturday was a day of rest  for the men’s team after they continued their two-game winning streak against the Crimson Tide. A three-week absence was no factor, and the No. 11 Gators’ legs are still fresh.

Captains Duarte Vale and Sam Riffice, who assisted the Gators with a doubles victory, are returning to action. Vale and Riffice seem to work well when paired together and currently claim a 5-1 doubles record.

Senior Andy Andrade will play after his 6-2, 7-6 beat down of Patrick Kaukovalta. Junior Lukas Grief will also returnSunday after a good 6-4, 7-6 showing against Alabama’s Alexey Nesterov.  

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Florida is 18-0 all-time against the Tigers. The streak almost snapped in 2020 following an Auburn comeback that ultimately fell 3-4. Auburn also finds itself on a two-game losing skid after falling to South Carolina and Miami 2-5.

First serve is set for Sunday at noon at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. Live stats can be followed on FloridaGators.com.

Contact Jesse Richardson at jrichardson@alligator.org or follow him on Twitter @JesseRich352.

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