Sunday April 20, 2008Men's Tennis Defeated By Ole Miss In SEC Tournament Championship, 4-1
The No. 12 University of Florida men’s tennis team came up short in its effort to claim the 2008 Southeastern Conference Tournament title as the Gators were defeated, 4-1, by No. 6 Ole Miss Sunday afternoon in Fayetteville, Ark.
Florida’s showing at the event was impressive and included a shutout of South Carolina in the quarterfinals and a 4-2 semifinal decision over top-seed and third-ranked Georgia.
The Gators slipped to 15-7 on the year as the team was making its fifth appearance in the tournament championships overall and third under seventh-year head coach Andy Jackson. Florida has captured the title three times (1994, 2000, 2005) and has now been a runner-up twice (2003, 2008).
Sunday’s match started with the Rebels winning the doubles point. Florida had been able to overcome the 1-0 deficit four times this season, including Saturday’s semifinal win and the regular season 5-2 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford.
The Gators were not able to rally this time with only one win on the singles courts by Nestor Briceno (No. 120). The UF senior, who posted a 3-0 record in the tournament on the No. 2 court, defeated Ole Miss’ 20th-ranked Matthias Wellerman, 6-3, 6-2. The victory was Briceno’s ninth over a ranked opponent this year and second over a top 20 opponent in as many days. Briceno’s effort in Fayetteville saw his career win total pass 100. Following Sunday’s match, his career mark stands at 101-48. His win total ranks as the sixth-highest in school history and is one away from matching Damon Henkel’s 102.
Florida will have almost three weeks before returning to the courts for the NCAA Tournament. The team draw will be announced Tuesday, April 29, at 2 p.m. on ESPNews, while the singles and doubles draws will be released Wednesday, April 30, on ncaasports.com. Florida has hosted the first and second rounds four times under Coach Jackson. The last time UF hosted was in 2005 when the Gators advanced to the semifinal round of the team draw. The 2008 first and second rounds will be played May 10-11, as the Gators will aim for one of 16 spots in the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Okla., May 15-26.
SEC Championship – Finals
April 20, 2008
George M. Billingsley Tennis Center
#6 Ole Miss 4
#12 Florida 1
*1. #30 Erling Tveit (OM) def. #2 Greg Ouellette (UF), 6-4, 6-2
2. #120 Nestor Briceno (UF) def. #20 Matthias Wellermann (OM), 6-3, 6-2
3. #49 Robbye Poole (OM) vs. #67 Alex Lacroix (UF), 3-6, 7-6(6), 2-2 (susp.)
4. Jonas Berg (OM) def. Jeff Dadamo (UF), 6-1, 6-3
5. Kalle Norberg (OM) def. Tyler Hochwalt (UF), 7-5, 6-3
6. Jakob Klaeson (OM) vs. Erik Corace (UF), 7-5, 6-6 (susp.)
1. #5 Jonas Berg/Erling Tveit (OM) def. #41 Jeff Dadamo/Greg Ouellette (UF), 8-4
2. Matthias Wellermann/Robbye Poole (OM) vs. Alex Lacroix/Nestor Briceno (UF), 8-7 (susp.)
3. Jakob Klaeson/Tucker Vorster (OM) def. Geoffrey Barton/Tyler Hochwalt (UF), 8-4
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1); Singles (4, 2, 5, 1*)
* - clinching match
END OF REPORT