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Friday, January 28, 2022
Florida's Ben Shelton celebrates on Feb. 21 against Auburn.
Florida's Ben Shelton celebrates on Feb. 21 against Auburn.

Florida’s Nate Bonetto, Abedallah Shelbayh and Ben Shelton went undefeated in singles at the Crimson Chowderfest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, last weekend, the bright spot of a 23-13 overall record for the team for the competition. 

Shelton was rewarded with the Dale Junta Award, given to the winner of the tournament, for his stellar play. He defeated Harvard’s No. 106 Henry Von Der Schulenburg in the final 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. 

The weekend kicked off with matchups against players from Cal-Berkeley and Michigan. Florida collected seven wins on the first day, including six singles wins with a quartet of Gators sweeping their matches in just two sets. 

The first day of matches was highlighted by Shelbayh’s two-set victory over Michigan’s No. 114 Patrick Maloney, 6-2, 6-2. This marked the freshman’s first ranked singles win of the season and set him up nicely for an undefeated weekend of singles play. 

Florida came out strong again for the second day of matches against Arizona State. Bonetto and Shelbayh again swept their singles and doubles matches, this time joined by junior Will Grant. 

Senior Lukas Greif moved to 2-0 in singles on the weekend with a win over ASU’s George Stoupe, dropping the first set 3-6 but following with dominant 6-1 and 6-0 sets. Shelton continued his undefeated campaign with a victory against Murphy Cassone. 

Florida closed out day two with eight wins, including six singles victories to match the day before, to bring its tournament total to 15. 

The Gators came out with their strongest performance on the final day, racking up 10 wins against Harvard including seven singles victories. 

Bonetto and Shelbayh again needed only two sets to win their singles matchups, ensuring they would finish the weekend with undefeated singles records. 

The duo of Bonetto and Shelton earned a 6-3 victory over Harvard’s Steven Sun and Ronan Jachuck, while the No. 57 ranked team of Shelbayh and graduate student Mattias Siimar took their second win of the tournament over Harris Walker and Von Der Schulenberg, 6-3. 

Shelton also clinched the Dale Junta Award with a championship victory over Von Der Schulenburg. These impressive individual performances led to a tally of 23 wins (17 singles, 6 doubles) on the weekend. 

The Gators will look to keep up their momentum Oct. 2-10 at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

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Contact Jackson Castellano at jcastellano@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @jaxacastellano.

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