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Florida Tennis Takes Down Illinois

The No. 1-ranked Florida men’s tennis team swept the No. 16-ranked Illinois, 4-0, on Monday night. The Gators continue their run in the NCAA Tournament after their victory in the Round of 16 over the Big Ten champions.

Winning in dominant fashion has been the theme for the Gators this season. Florida won two of their doubles. In the singles, Florida succeeded in collecting points with three convincing wins over Illinois. The new partnership of Duarte Vale and Johannes Ingildsen moved onto 2-0 in doubles. Additionally, Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton moved to 8-2 on the year with a win on the No. 2 court. Sophomore Blaise Bicknell credited the team’s momentum and teamwork for the keys to victory against Illinois.

“Well from the beginning these guys came out with a lot of energy and they were showing like they were ready to go. We didn’t let any of that bother us and we really went after them from the beginning… And then just from there we kept the momentum going and it was a great team effort overall.”

Bicknell and Josh Goodger move to 30-0 and 21-0 respectively on the season as they both remain undefeated in singles play.

During the tournament, the Gators have won their first three matches in the NCAA tournament over South Alabama, South Florida and Illinois with a combined score of 12 to 1. With two sweeps already underneath their rackets, the Gators remain the favorites to go all the way.

Singles Matchups

#1 Singles
Unfinished 1 2 3 4
Aleks Kovacevic [ILL] 4 6 1 0
Duarte Vale [UF] 6 3 2 UF
#2 Singles
Unfinished 1 2 3
Siphosothando Montsi [ILL] 6^7 3 0
Sam Riffice [UF] 7^9 2 UF
#3 Singles
Final 1 2
Alex Brown [ILL] 2 3
Andy Andrade [UF] 6 6
#4 Singles
Final 1 2
Zeke Clark [ILL] 3 3
Blaise Bicknell [UF] 6 6
#5 Singles
Unfinished 1 2 3 4
Hunter Heck [ILL] 6 2 2 0
Ben Shelton [UF] 4 6 3 UF
#6 Singles
Final 1 2
Noe Khilf [ILL] 1 3
Josh Goodger [UF] 6 6

Doubles Matchups

#1 Doubles
Final 1
Zeke Clark / Alex Brown [ILL] 4
Duarte Vale / Johannes Ingildsen [UF] 6
#2 Doubles
Final 1
Siphosothando Montsi / Noe Khlif [ILL] 3
Sam Riffice / Ben Shelton [UF] 6
#3 Doubles
Final 1
Hunter Heck / Aleks Kovacevic [ILL] 6
Brian Berdusco / Will Grant [UF] 4

Florida Gators take on the Aggies

The Round of 16 is set for an SEC matchup between the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators vs the No. 8 ranked Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday. Head coach Bryan Shelton praised the experience the Aggies have after their own sweep vs. Mississippi State.

“We’ve played them a couple times this year already. We know them very well. They know us. Every time we play those guys it’s a battle. They’re tough from top to bottom. They’ve got a lot of experience on that team. They’ve got some senior leaders in Vacherot and Habib and Aguilar. They’re just a tough, gritty team as well, so we know we’ll have our work cut out for us, but I like my guys. I like my guys a lot.”

The Gators have two wins over the Aggies this season including a 5-2 victory at College Station and a 4-3 victory in the Semifinals of the SEC Tournament. The quarterfinals begin Thursday at 7:30. pm.

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About Ethan Sanabria

Ethan Sanabria is a second-year telecommunications student on the digital film and television production track at the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. He has previously worked as a broadcaster for the Florida Flight basketball team and currently helps the production of WUFT news facebook lives. You can reach Ethan on any of his social media or at

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