Special to Gatorsports.com
AUBURN, Ala. – No. 2 Florida secured at least part of the SEC regular-season men’s tennis title Sunday with a 6-1 win over Auburn.
For the first time since 2005, the Gators are 11-0 in the league action and Sunday’s match with South Carolina will determine the championship standings. With a win over the Gamecocks, Florida would be the sole winner of the regular season title. A loss would create a tie at the top of the standings based on record, resulting in co-champions.
Florida (19-2 overall) entered the match in Auburn having won its last 12 matches. It stuck with the same doubles lineup from Friday at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, but paired Lukas Greif and Andy Andrade at No. 3. The Gators quickly claimed the early advantage with 6-1 wins from McClain Kessler-Johannes Ingildsen on one and Oliver Crawford-Alfredo Perez on two.
In singles, it was more of the same. The Gators opened with victories on five courts, including 6-0 first sets from Kessler and Crawford. Kessler and Perez cruised to efficient 2-set victories on courts six and five, respectively. Crawford clinched the victory for the Gators with his 6-0, 6-1 decision on court 1.
“Everyone came out today ready to go and played very well,” Crawford said. “We know we still have to beat South Carolina to win the SEC outright and that’s what we are focused on doing. We don’t want to share the title. South Carolina is a very good team and it will be very tough. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
Andrade and Duarte Vale completed the scoring efforts for the Gators.
Up next, Florida will host South Carolina on Sunday afternoon for Senior Day. First serve will be at 1 p.m. and the senior recognition will take place at 12:45 p.m.
Women’s tennis: At Ring Tennis Complex, Florida (10-9, 7-5 SEC) defeated Auburn, 4-2.
The doubles teams of Victoria Emma-McCartney Kessler and Marlee Zein-Sydney Berlin put UF up 1-0 over Auburn (13-13, 0-11) before singles wins by Ida Jarlskog, Emma and Berlin settled the outcome.
The Gators entertain Michigan at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Lacrosse: 17th-ranked Florida team moved to 2-0 in the AAC after topping Vanderbilt, 18-9, on Saturday at Donald R. Dizney Stadium.
Florida is 2-0 in conference play (7-6 overall) for the eighth time in program history and the sixth-straight season.
Florida’s offense was led by Sydney Pirreca, who posted four goals on the day, a season-best mark for her. Four other Gators recorded hat tricks as well: Lindsey Ronbeck, Grace Haus, Shannon Kavanagh and Brianna Harris.
UF won 15-of-27 draws, including a season-best nine from Kavanagh.
The Gators caused nine turnovers, led by two from Cara Trombetta. Florida held Vanderbilt (9-3, 1-1 AAC) to 9-of-23 shooting (.391) on the day.
With her first caused turnover of the game, Trombetta became Florida’s all-time program leader, surpassing Caroline Fitzgerald’s record of 87.
Sabrina Cristodero did an outstanding defensive job against Vanderbilt’s leading scorer, Sophie Furlong, holding her to zero points.
“Sabrina did a great job on Sophie Furlong,” UF coach Amanda O’Leary said. “We had certain matchups we wanted to establish from the start. When we got switched off of Furlong, our entire defense really stepped up.”
Haley Hicklen recorded eight saves on the day, registering a .500 saves percentage against the Commodores.