Gators Tennis Early Season Check-In

The Florida Gators men’s and women’s tennis teams are already in full swing this year, but both sides have started off on different footings. Coming into this season ranked No. 3, the women’s team was primed to defend its Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor National Championship from 2017. Florida started off with 4-0 dual match sweeps over Cal State Fullerton and the University of Louisiana at Monroe to kick off the season.

Things have not gone the Gators’ way lately, though. They’ve dropped their last three road matches and have four remaining before they return for a pair of home matches in March.

Florida will look to improve on its 3-4 start and a 1-4 record on its current road trip with an away match against Saint Mary’s on Feb. 23.

Meanwhile, the No. 11 men’s team is off to a 4-2 start to the season and opened with a dominant 6-1 win over the UCF Knights at home. The Gators clinched their 17th all-time victory over the Knights on Jan. 22 and proceeded to win their next two matches against South Alabama and USF at home.

Florida dropped a neutral site match to No. 22 Florida State 4-3 on Feb. 3 and split two road matches over the weekend, defeating Michigan 4-2 and losing 5-2 to Ohio State.

Women’s Tennis Looking To Bounce Back

After a quick start to the 2018 National Team Indoor Championship at the University of Wisconsin, the Gators dropped two-straight matches to top-ranked Vanderbilt and seventh-ranked Georgia Tech. Florida defeated Wisconsin 5-0 in the first match but lost 4-0 to Vanderbilt and 4-2 to Georgia Tech.

Despite the loss, most recently to Georgia Tech, the Gators made an effort to climb back into the match after falling into an early 3-0 deficit. Freshman McCartney Kessler and senior Josie Kulhman‘s victories brought Florida to within one, then trailing 3-2. The Gators weren’t able to hold on in later sets and dropped a 4-2 decision. 

Thus far, seniors Anna Danilina and Kuhlman lead the team in singles victories, 18-5 and 13-4, respectively. Florida has plenty of road ahead to bounce back from a tough weekend away from home.

Men’s Tennis Seeking Win After Recent Loss

While the men’s team strung off a few wins early on and picked up a road victory Friday (4-2 over Michigan), the Gators also suffered a recent road loss, falling 5-2 to No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday. Despite a tough day in doubles, two Gators picked up singles wins over Ohio State opponents, including freshman Andy Andrade defeating No. 30 Kyle Seelig 6-3, 4-6, 10-8.

Florida concluded its two-game Big Ten road trip and will next compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships starting Friday in Seattle before its upcoming home matches.

The Road Ahead

Following a string of out-of-conference matchups, both teams will mostly face SEC opponents for the rest of the season. Gators fans can next watch men’s and women’s tennis at home starting March 2.

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