Friday February 17, 2012Gators Drop Pepperdine 4-3 in Opening Round of ITA National Indoors
The fifth-ranked University of Florida men’s tennis team used a pair of straight set victories by Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) and Mike Alford (Tampa, Fla.) to earn a hard fought, 4-3, victory over No. 12 Pepperdine in the opening round of ITA National Indoors this afternoon at the Boar’s Head Sports Club on the University of Virginia campus. With the victory, UF improves to 5-1 on the season and will advance to the quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon.
“We have had a good start to the season, but we don’t have a win that is better than this one,” said head coach Andy Jackson. “Pepperdine is a good team, and they will have a good season. They have several losses this season, but they have all come to upper echelon teams. I am pleased to have such a good win like this one.”
The Orange and Blue got off to a quick start on the day as the No. 2 doubles team of Tripper Carleton (Naples, Fla.) and Spencer Newman (Miami, Fla.) earned a quick 8-3 victory over Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner.
Despite the quick start in doubles, the Gators dropped the next two doubles contests as Slilam and Billy Federhofer (North Miami, Fla.) dropped a close 6-8 decision at No. 1 doubles and Andrew Butz (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Bob van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) fell in a tiebreaker 8-9 (4-7) to give the doubles point to the Waves.
“I told them the same thing I would have said to them if we had won the doubles point: there are still six points available in singles,” Jackson said. “We played well in doubles, and I thought we did a good job of not getting discouraged.”
UF picked up a quick point to even the match at No. 4 singles as Florent Diep (Paris, France) made quick work of Alex Llompart 6-4, 6-0. The Waves regained the advantage as Fanselow defeated van Overbeek at No. 1 singles 6-4, 6-2. The Gators quickly took back momentum after Newman earned a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Hugh Clarke at No. 5 singles.
The Florida momentum was short-lived as No. 26-ranked Finn Tearney handed Carleton his first dual loss of the season at 6-0, 6-3 to give the Waves a 3-2 lead with two matches left on the courts.
The Gators drew even when Slilam won a hard fought 6-3, 7-5 victory at No. 3 singles over 58th-ranked Mousheg Hovhannisyan, making the contest at No. 6 singles the dual deciding match.
At No. 6 singles, Alford took the first set by a tight 6-4 margin. The second set was a back and forth affair with Alford eventually coming out on top with a 7-6 (4) victory to clinch the match for the Orange and Blue.
The Gators return to the court tomorrow at noon when they face No. 4 Georgia in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs advanced to the quarters after a 4-0 victory over No. 13 Cal. The complete draw and results throughout the tournament can be found online at http://www.itatennis.com/.
No. 5 Florida 4, No. 12 Pepperdine 3
No. 53 Tearney/Llompart (PEPP) def. No. 9 Slilam/Federhofer (UF) 8-6
No. 14 Carleton/Newman (UF) def. Fanselow/Turner (PEPP) 8-3
Clarke/Sofaer (PEPP) def. No. 29 Butz/van Overbeek (UF) 9-8 (4)
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
No. 31 Sebastian Fanselow (PEPP) def. No. 40 Bob van Overbeek (UF) 6-4, 6-2
No. 26 Finn Tearney (PEPP) def. No. 101 Tripper Carleton (UF) 6-0, 6-3
Nassam Slilam (UF) def. No. 58 Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEPP) 6-3, 7-5
Florent Diep (UF) def. Alex Llompart (PEPP) 6-4, 6-0
No. 53 Spencer Newman (UF) def. Hugh Clarke (PEPP) 6-1, 6-4
Mike Alford (UF) def. Jenson Turner (PEPP) 6-4, 7-6 (4)
Order of Finish: 4, 1, 5, 2, 3, 6