SEC/PAC12 Challenge Proves Troublesome for UF Men’s Tennis

Two California teams, USC and Stanford, are lined up to play the Gators in Lake Nona on Feb. 4 and 5. It was a rough weekend for the boys in Orange & Blue — they dropped both matches, 5-2 and 4-1.

Saturday vs. USC

The Gators started their match with the University of Southern California as they often do — by winning the doubles point. Florida has become one of the best teams in the nation at doubles. They have not dropped a doubles point since their spring season opener against Texas. After this weekend, that will make six straight doubles victories.

After that, the tide turned in the direction of the Trojans.

USC is a highly ranked tennis school. The Trojans entered the challenge ranked No. 7 in the nation.

The Trojans snatched wins in the first three singles matches, all in straight sets.

  • Stefan Dostanic def. Axel Nefve, 6-2 6-3
  • Peter Makk def. Will Grant, 6-2 6-2
  • Ryan Colby def. Lukas Greif, 6-2 6-4

After this start for the Gators in singles, freshman Jonah Braswell became a bright spot, taking down USC’s Bradley Frye in straights.

However, the Trojans secured the team win with Wojtek Marek’s win over UF’s Nate Bonetto shortly after. With the win already in the hands of USC, UF’s Togan Tokac was playing more for personal accolades than anything.

He ended up falling short in the only match that did not end in straight sets, 5-7 7-5 8-10.

Sunday vs. Stanford

After Saturday’s loss to USC, a bounce-back win against another ranked team would have been just what the Gators needed.

However, due to weather conditions, the singles matches were rescheduled to be played indoors at 10:00 Sunday morning. UF grabbed another doubles point on the outside courts, giving them an early advantage in the match.

When they moved indoors for singles, Axel Nefve and Will Grant quickly received their second straight-set singles loss of the weekend, making the team score 2-1 in favor of the Cardinal. Braswell, who had been a bright spot in the battle with USC, also lost in straight sets. Stanford secured the win when Bonetto was dropped in straight-set fashion.

The other singles matches went unfinished.

Coming Up

The Gators will get a much-needed break for a couple of weeks, and then they will be in Chicago for ITA Indoor Nationals. Florida punched its tickets to the tournament with their home win over Mississippi State earlier this season.

The tournament will be from Feb. 17-20.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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