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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Gators host ITA regionals southeast tournament

Gators face off against 14 other teams in Gainesville

<p>Florida&#x27;s Andy Andrade returns a ball against Auburn February 21. Andrade clinched the winning point to send the Gators to the national championship.</p>

Florida's Andy Andrade returns a ball against Auburn February 21. Andrade clinched the winning point to send the Gators to the national championship.

It’s that time of year again. Triumph, heartbreak, maybe a thrown racket or two. It’s time for the ITA regionals southeast tournament.

The Gators men’s tennis team will host 14 teams for the ITA regionals southeast tournament this week from Thursday, Oct. 21 through Monday, Oct. 25 at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. 

The 14 teams competing are Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Mercer, Miami, North Florida, South Florida and Stetson.

Notable matchups for Florida in this tournament include in-state rival FSU and South Florida, who the Gators knocked out of the NCAA tournament 4-1 en route to their first title. They will also face Southeastern Conference rival, the Bulldogs, in their bracket.

Seniors Andy Andrade and Josh Goodger, freshmen Nate Bonetto and Abedallah Shelbayh, junior Will Grant, and graduate Mattias Siimar will all represent the orange and blue at the tournament.

Andrade has seven singles wins and three double wins this season, with two ranked wins against No. 16 Connor Thomson of South Carolina and No. 98 Franco Capalbo of Utah. Bonetto also has seven single victories, making him and Andrade tied for second on the team for the most singles wins this season.

The team is coming off an impressive outing at the M15 Naples Tournament, with Shelbayh winning the doubles title with his partner, Bruno Kuzuhara, and senior Duarte Vale advancing to the singles final after defeating Blu Baker of Great Britain, 7-6 (2), 6-3. 

The first set of qualifying matches begin on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 8:30 a.m at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis complex.

Contact Brian Olmo at Follow him on Twitter at @BrianOlmo0211.

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