Special to Gatorsports.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The third time wasn’t the charm for the Florida men’s tennis team in the NCAA Tournament’s quarterfinals Sunday.
Texas A&M defeated Florida for the third time this season, this time 4-3. The Gators (19-10) had lost to the Aggies (26-5) ealier in the season 4-0 and 6-1.
The Aggies won the doubles point and two singles matches for a 3-0 lead before the Gators made it a match when Oliver Crawford (at No. 1), Andy Andrade (No. 4) and McClain Kessler (No. 6) won their singles matches. But it wasn’t enough, as Texas A&M advances to Monday’s semifinals.
“It was a great match,” UF coach Bryan Shelton said. “Our guys fought to the end and that’s who they are. Hats off to Texas A&M, they came out and played really well and were just a little bit better than us in the doubles. At No. 1 doubles we had a break three times and each time they came back and played the perfect return game.
“Our guys showed a lot heart and a lot of resilience to continue to fight. I love this team, they are fun to work with, they were playing to win today and we just didn’t quite capitalize on some of the key points and that was the difference. But to be down 3-0 and work our way back into this match, the way that we did, I’m just so proud of my guys. Just warriors.”
Women’s golf: After the third round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship in Stillwater, Okla., , there’s a clear frontrunner in the team competition while there’s serious competition for the individual crown. Florida was not one of the 15 teams advancing.
Alabama (-2) moved from second to first Sunday with a 4-under round, which combined with UCLA’s 9-over round, allowed the Crimson Tide to take an eight-stroke lead into Monday. Arizona (+16), Northwestern (+18) and Southern California (+21) round out the top five. Each team entered the day in the top five and all but Northwestern changed its standing within that group Sunday.
Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight and Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho are tied for the individual lead at 7-under, with Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan and Ohio State’s Jaclyn Lee one stroke back.
Louisville was the final advancing team with the best cumulative drop score. The Cardinals are 15th at 39-over. The advancing individual golfers are Wake Forest’s Kupcho, Ohio State’s Lee, Texas A&M’s Maddy Szeryk, Oklahoma State’s Emma Broze, Tennessee’s Michaela Williams, BYU’s Rose Huang, Oklahoma’s Julienne Soo, Colorado’s Robyn Choi and Georgia’s Jillian Hollis.
The Gators finished 21st at +45. Their best finisher was Sierra Brooks, who finished tied for 35th.