The Florida Men’s Tennis team finds itself in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years after defeating Tennessee. Consequently, the third-seeded Gators now look to break its 6-6 all-time record against the sixth-seeded Baylor Bears and advance to the tournament’s semifinals.
History With Baylor
These two tennis powerhouses haven’t matched up since Bryan Shelton’s debut season as Florida Men’s Tennis head coach in 2013. In that last meeting, the 16th ranked Gators failed to capitalize against the 20th ranked Bears in a close match ending 4-3. It’s been six long years since the upset despite having met 10 consecutive seasons prior.
The Gators have surfaced to the NCAA Tournament semifinal twice before in the program’s history and the Bears were responsible for one of their exits.
Revenge on Tennessee
The Volunteers reached the SEC Tennis Tournament finals after earning a 4-3 victory over Gators in late April at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex. At that time, top-seeded Florida dropped a doubles point and despite a valiant three straight singles victories, fourth-seeded Baylor came out on top.
Fast forward to the round-of-16 of the NCAA Tournament, Florida and Tennessee skirmished once again. Florida would avenge its SEC exit and in a fashionable manner.
Flashbacks sparked as Florida went ahead of Tennessee 3-1 once again, similar to their previous meeting. Nevertheless, Florida came out as winners with a 4-2 final result.
Florida Ahead of Elite 8 Meeting
The Gators are as deadly as ever with eight players combining for 111-31 in dual matches. They’ve only lost nine matches at the No. 4, 5 and 6 positions. Duarte Vale is Florida’s most volatile player who is 15-1, including 9-0 in his last 10 matches. Johannes Ingildsen and Sam Riffice have won a team-best 18 dual singles matches.
Florida vs. Baylor will begin Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the USTA National Campus (Lake Nona, Fla.)