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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
The ITA recognized the squad as the No. 1 team March 30, but the Gators have little time to celebrate before they trek up to Nashville, Tennessee. Photo from UF-Auburn match February 21.
The ITA recognized the squad as the No. 1 team March 30, but the Gators have little time to celebrate before they trek up to Nashville, Tennessee. Photo from UF-Auburn match February 21.

Florida’s squad slowly hiked up the ranks and finally made it to the peak. 

The ITA recognized the squad as the No. 1 team March 30. But the Gators have little time to celebrate before they trek up to Nashville, Tennessee, and take on their first opponent with their new ranking.

Breakout the broomsticks

The Gators annihilated 12 straight SEC opponents but also shut out the previous seven of nine matches. 

Sophomore Blaise Bicknell leads the pack with his ever-growing 14-match win streak. His perfect singles record is the best on the team along with Josh Goodger’s own seven-match solo streak.

Seniors Andy Andrade, Sam Riffice and Duarte Vale boast a collective of nine losses in the post-pandemic campaign. Meanwhile, freshman Ben Shelton shares a tear of his own with a personal 8-1 singles record and stands strong at 5-3 with doubles partner Andrade.

Commodore struggles

Vandy currently stands unranked with a 6-11 record and lost to all its SEC opponents. The Commodores barely avoided a 13-match skid with comfortable victories over DePaul and a shut-out win over Tennessee State.

Luckily for Vanderbilt, the team holds an above-average record at home and could improve on that mark with an upset over the No. 1 Gators. When the competition is held in Nashville, Tennessee, the Commodores only overcome low-tier teams like Lipscomb, Rice and Illinois State.

Although the expectations for Vanderbilt are low, the Gators can’t ride into Curry Tennis Center on cruise control. The SEC Tournament approaches, so Florida can’t afford to lose momentum.

Where to watch

The No. 1 Gators will vye for their 12-match win streak against Vanderbilt. The duel will stream on FloridaGators.com with live video and stats.

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


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