No. 18 Florida stayed perfect in SEC play with its 6-1 men’s tennis win Sunday over No. 25 Tennessee at the Ring Tennis Complex.
For the second match in a row, and sixth time this season, the Gators (7-4, 2-0 SEC) used the momentum of the crucial doubles point to their advantage. On court two McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale played one of their best matches of the season with a dominating 6-1 win. The Gators clinched the doubles point on court three as Chase Perez-Blanco and Oliver Crawford earned a 6-4 decision. It was Perez-Blanco and Crawford’s second straight doubles point clincher.
The outcome in singles wasn’t much different from that of doubles with an overall strong showing as a team. Florida won five of the six singles points including two assertive wins from Johannes Ingildsen at the No. 2 spot (6-1, 6-3) and Oliver Crawford at the No. 4 spot (6-1, 6-0). With the Gators leading 3-1 in the match the clinching point came on court five when Andy Andrade earned his sixth singles win of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 decision.
With the match already won, Florida and Tennessee (11-3, 1-1) decided to finish the final two matches on court three and six. On court three Duarte Vale won 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 and on court six Perez-Blanco won 6-2, 5-7, 10-4.
Florida will be on the road next weekend with trips to Mississippi State and Auburn. The match against Mississippi State is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday, while the match against Auburn will start at a 2 p.m. Sunday.
Diving: Florida will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to compete at the NCAA Region B Diving Zones, running Monday-Wednesday.
The meet will consist of 89 total divers, including four from Florida. The Gators competing are Brooke Madden and Emma Whitner on the women’s side. Alex Farrow and Dalton Goss will compete on the men’s side.
Madden is looking to qualify for her second NCAA Championship meet in a row, while Whiter, Farrow and Goss are looking to punch their tickets for the first time.
The women’s NCAA Championship in swimming begins March 14 in Columbus, Ohio. The men’s NCAA Championship meet will run one week later, beginning on March 21 in Minneapolis, Minn.