Not even the weather could prevent the Florida Gators from beating their in-state rivals.
The doubles tandem of freshman Sam Riffice and sophomore Oliver Crawford walked into the UST…
The Fresh from Florida Sunshine Showdown had a lengthy rain delay of over one hour, but that didn’t stop UF from taking down No. 19 Florida State 4-1 when the match resumed indoors at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida.
The Gators’ ended the Seminoles’ streak of two consecutive wins at the venue.
No. 4 UF began the match with a crushing 6-0 doubles win from senior Alfredo Perez and junior Johannes Ingildsen over Lucas Poullain and Sebastian Arcila. Freshman Sam Riffice and sophomore Oliver Crawford continued their dominance with a 6-3 doubles win over Richard Thongoana and Chase Wood.
Riffice won his first set outdoors in singles play 6-4 despite initially trailing 0-3. The delay didn’t stop Riffice’s momentum. He cruised to a 6-3 victory in the final set to put the Gators up 2-0. Ingildsen handily beat Thongoana 6-2, 6-1 to set up match point.
But the clinching win didn’t come easy for the Gators.
Sophomore Andy Andrade fell behind in the second set of his singles match 3-5, but he fought back and forced a tiebreaker. Ultimately, Andrade won the set 7-6 over Alex Knaff to clinch the match.
This was Florida’s second-consecutive victory in Lake Nona. It beat UCF on Thursday 6-1.
Coach Bryan Shelton was proud of the way the team fought through adversity.
“Give (Florida State) a lot of credit,” Shelton said in a release. “That team just plays us tough every single time we play them. They are a gritty group that competes really well. They gave us all that we wanted tonight and more. I’m really proud of our guys for how they hung in there.”