Just about a week ago, the men’s and the women’s teams faced off against bitter rival Florida State for the rights to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Things didn't go well for the Seminoles that fateful Sunday as the Gators picked up two wins in a relatively easy fashion. However, a unique opportunity presented itself as both the men’s and the women’s teams were scheduled for a rematch less than a week later. It would likely be the last time the foes would see each other this season, and a chance for UF to continue building momentum or for FSU to right the ship on its season.
Once again, the Gators were triumphant, asserting their dominance as a program over Florida State. Both the men’s and the women’s teams faced little resistance on their way to 4-1 victories.
The No. 3 Florida men’s team entered the match with only one loss to No. 4 TCU. Florida State, despite being unranked, had just the loss to Florida as its lone blemish on their season to this point.
The Seminoles were actually able to gain the early advantage in doubles, as their top duo of Loris Pourroy and Sebastian Arcila took down UF’s Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton. Even with a win from Duarte Vale and Abdellah Shelbayh Florida would drop the doubles point. Will Grant and Lukas Greif fell 6-4 in their match and Florida State claimed a 1-0 overall lead.
Overcoming the early deficit was no trouble for the Gators, however, as they dominated the singles portion of the match. Riffice, Shelton, Vale and Andy Andrade all took care of business against their opponents in just two sets. With the Gators’ 4-1 victory in hand Josh Goodger and Nate Bonetto, had no need to finish.
The women’s team entered their match with plenty of momentum, reeling off five straight victories to open the campaign. The hot start has propelled Florida to No. 11 in the rankings. The Seminoles, with their only loss being earlier in the season to the Gators, came into the match No. 16.
After Florida shut out Florida State in its first meeting, FSU needed to try and get on the board quickly.
That was nothing more than a pipe dream for the Seminoles as the Gators locked up quick 6-2 victories from pairings Carly Briggs and Marlee Zein and McCartney Kessler and Emma Shelton.
Florida State finally got a point against the Gators as Petra Hule defeated Zein in two sets. The Seminoles would have no further luck in the match, as Florida’s Briggs and Alicia Dudeney each defeated their opponents in two-sets.
With a 3-1 lead in the match, Sydney Berlin came back after losing the first set to Kianah Motosono and won in three sets, securing an overall victory for the Gators.
Both teams have their next action at the ITA National Indoor Championships. The women will play in Madison, Wisconsin, Feb. 11-14, and the men will play in Seattle, Washington, Feb. 18-21. The championship will be each team’s last test before conference play begins.
Contact Joshua Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaMorgan37