The Florida Gators are well represented at the SEC Tennis Tournaments going on this weekend. The Gator men got started in their tournament on Thursday after earning a bye through the opening round. The Gators faced off with Kentucky in the second round, the team they had just beaten in their last regular season match. The momentum against the Wildcats continued, with Florida defeating them, 4-2. Next up was Mississippi State. In the quarterfinals, the Gators took an early lead earning the doubles point. The duo of Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin took down their opponent 6-3, and the team of Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson won 6-2, clinching the point.
Orkin continued his powerful performance and won in the No. 2 position in straight sets, 7-6 and 6-0. Watson fought for his singles match going three sets and taking the last two 6-3. Despite the two singles wins, the losses from Hidalgo, Lipman, Chase Pererz-Blanco, and Joshua Wardell gave Mississippi State the 4-3 victory. The Gator men will now wait for the announcement of where they are heading for the NCAA Tournament, on April 28th. The Gator women went into their tournament as the regular season SEC champions, and were able to wait until the third round to start their action, after earning a bye in the first and second rounds. The quarterfinal opponent for Florida was Ole Miss. The last time these teams met, every doubles match had to go into a tiebreaker. This time around the Gators swept the point. The duo of Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan took their match 8-2, and the team of Spencer Liang and Peggy Porter defeated their opponent 8-3. In singles play the Gators kept on sweeping, winning three straight matches. SEC Freshman of the Week Austin got the momentum started for Florida taking her match in two 6-2 sets. Fellow freshman Josie Kuhlman won her match on court No. 2 soon after, 6-1 and 6-2. Keegan clinched the match with her two 6-4 sets. The Gators moved on with a 4-0 sweep. The No. 1 seed Florida will now take on No. 4 seed Vanderbilt in the semifinals Saturday, starting at noon. The Gators suffered their only SEC loss of the season to the Commodores on April 5th, 4-1.