UF Roundup: Gator teams continue NCAA competition

Florida's Oliver Crawford serves during a NCAA first-round match against South Carolina State in Gainesville last week. The Gators play in the Round of 16 today against Ole Miss. [Brad McClenny/Staff photographer]

Special to The Sun

For the third consecutive year, the Florida men’s tennis team will compete in the NCAA Sweet 16. The Gators take on SEC foe Ole Miss at 7 p.m. Friday.

Florida’s match against Ole Miss (16-12) is scheduled to be played in Winston-Salem, N.C. on the campus of Wake Forest University. However, with rain in the forecast much of the week, the match may be moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. and played indoors at the University of North Carolina.

Florida (18-9) has appeared in 28 straight NCAA Tournaments, the third-longest active streak in the country, trailing only UCLA (42) and Georgia (35). This is Florida’s third straight trip to the Sweet 16 and their fourth in the last five years.

Under coach Bryan Shelton Florida is 9-5 in the tournament. The Gators’ best finish is a semifinals appearance in 2000 and 2005.

The Gators have been playing well down the stretch, winning five of their last six matches, including four shutouts.

Florida leads the all-time series 37-23 vs. Ole Miss, including a 6-1 home win March 23.

Women’s golf: Florida is in its 27th NCAA Championship in school history. The championships in Stillwater, Okla., starts today at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The first three days will consist of 54-holes of stroke play with the top eight teams advancing to the match play quarterfinals.

Florida finished tied for third at the Austin Regional last week, posting a three-round total of 869 (+5).

Led by redshirt freshman Elin Esborn, the Gators carded a final-round 291 (+3) tying with Auburn and Baylor. Esborn shot 4-under-par to catapult her into a tie for 12th place at 3-under-par for the tournament. This was the fourth top 25 finish of the season for the All-SEC Freshman Team member.

“I think she’s just scratched the surface of how good she can be and I hope this continues to open her eyes.” UF coach Emily Bastel Glaser said of Esborn.

This will be the first NCAA Championship experience for four of the five Gators in the lineup. Senior Taylor Tomlinson has competed in the event in her last two seasons, finishing tied for 24th last year.