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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Although he missed the doubles competition, Sam Riffice warmed up for his singles bout and refused to give up a single game. Photo from UF-Auburn match Feb. 21.
Although he missed the doubles competition, Sam Riffice warmed up for his singles bout and refused to give up a single game. Photo from UF-Auburn match Feb. 21.

The results weren’t as perfect as the previous four sweeps, but the 13-match win streak will live on after the Gators pull a sneaky one-point steal from Vanderbilt.

For the first time in 10 games, the No. 1 Gators couldn’t come up with the doubles point advantage. Saturday marks the first time Florida gave up a point in a month.

The Gators’ doubles roster changed as captain Duarte Vale paired up with Josh Goodger instead of his usual partner, captain Sam Riffice. The two dominated their singles competition and fused their skills to drown Marcus Ferreira and Adam Sraberg. 

Their triumph became the only doubles highlight after freshman Ben Shelton and senior Andy Andrade failed to come away with a win. The No. 16 duo Johannes Ingildsen and Will Grant fell short by two games, which slashed Florida’s doubles hopes.

The fight didn’t get easier from there. Vandy’s singles mirrored Andrade’s and Shelton’s skills. The losses piled up and brought Vanderbilt within inches of an upset over the best team in the nation.

But No. 34 Blaise Bicknell and No. 94 Josh Goodger continued both of their undefeated singles streaks in one-sided battles. Bicknell gassed Macsen Sisam to his last ounce of fuel until the second set shut out and won 6-4, 6-0.

Although he missed the doubles competition, Riffice warmed up for his singles bout and refused to give up a single game. His opponent Marcus Ferreira was drained from his doubles fight earlier and couldn’t find a loophole around Riffice’s skillset. 

The UF captain went on to shrug off his opponent in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep and cap off the Gators victory.

The No. 1 Gators now have an opportunity to clinch a share of the SEC regular-season title with a win on Sunday against Kentucky, followed by a victory next week over the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The first serve of the match flies at noon from Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. The action will stream live on FloridaGators.com alongside stats.

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

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