Florida Sweeps Furman In Men’s Tennis

The Florida Gator men’s tennis team swept the Furman Paladins 7-0 on Sunday.

The Gators (5-0) remain undefeated under new head coach Bryan Shelton breezing past the Paladins in just over two hours.

Shelton says there are plenty of things the team can learn from playing a weaker team.

The doubles play was much improved for the Gators, who dropped the doubles point last week to UNC-Wilmington. This week, the Gators turned the tide winning the doubles matches 8-1 and 8-4, while the remaining match saw Florida on the verge of winning 7-4.

Florida’s top doubles team of senior Billy Federhofer and freshman Gordon Watson got things going with 8-1 win over Furman’s junior Alex Christ and freshman Matt Browne. Federhofer and Watson are currently riding a 10 match undefeated streak.

Next off the court for the Gators was the number three doubles team of junior Michael Alford and freshman Luke Johnson. They defeated the Furman pairing of sophomores Richard Casagrande and Jocob Behal 8-4.

Johnson said he was pleased with his double performance.

Coach Shelton liked his team’s approach in doubles.

In singles action, Florida’s usual number one singles player Florent Diep did not play. However, that did little to stop the Gators from running through the Paladins.

Senior Bob van Overbeek filled in at the top spot and defeated Furman’s Andrew Mellow 6-3, 6-4. Overbeek showcased a solid return game, but struggled with his own serve throughout the match.

Junior Stephane Piro was the first off the court for the Gators and easily dispatched Furman’s Alex Christ at number two singles 6-1, 6-1. Piro, who just became eligible in January, is 6-0 this spring, with a 3-0 mark in dual-match play.

Junior Michael Alford struggled in the first set against Furman’s Jacob Behal, but had little trouble in the second set eventually winning the match 6-3, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.

The Gators cliched the match at number four singles, when freshman Gordon Watson defeated Furman’s Matt Browne 6-1, 6-3. Watson has won seven matches in a row, dating back to the Three Oaks Shootout in early January.

Senior Billy Federhofer overwhelmed Furman’s Tyler Droll 6-0, 6-2 and was the second  player to leave the court on Saturday at number five singles.

The match of the day goes to freshman Luke Johnson, who got at to an early lead over Furman’s Richard Casagrande. Johnson breezed through the first set, winning 6-1, but Casagrande turned things around in a tight second set that saw Johnson lose the tiebreaker at 7-6 (5). However, before thing could spiral completely out of control, Johnson came back to take the 1o point tiebreak (10-5) to secure the sweep for the Gators.

Johnson says his confidence wasn’t broken despite losing the second set.

Florida’s homestand comes to an end next week, when they travel to Tallahasee to take on rival Florida State on Saturday at noon.


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