Friday March 23, 2012No. 11 Men's Tennis Takes on No. 12 Mississippi State Friday at 5 p.m.
The 11th-ranked Florida menís tennis team will take on No. 12 Mississippi St. on Friday at 5 p.m. at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville. The Gators are looking to bounce back after a tough stretch, losing three of their last four matches, with all three losses to teams ranked in the top seven nationally.
Florida (9-6, 2-2 SEC) returns to SEC action after a cross-country trip to face top-ranked Southern Cal on Monday, losing 6-1 against the defending national champions. After facing Mississippi State Friday evening, the Gators will travel to Oxford, Miss., for a Sunday match at Ole Miss at 2 p.m.
Mississippi State (12-4, 3-1 SEC) enjoyed nearly two weeks off after a 4-3 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on March 11. The Bulldogs are led by 14th-ranked Artem Ilyushin, who has won six matches against top-40 opponents with his highest victory against third-ranked Will Spencer of Georgia.
In between the doubles and singles portion of Fridayís match, the Gator Menís Tennis Boosters will be honoring former long-time UF menís tennis head coach M.B. Chafin. Coach Chafin and his wife, Mahala, will be presented with a Certificate of Lifetime Membership in the menís tennis booster club by Dr. John Ross, from the menís tennis boosters, and senior associate athletic director Jamie McCloskey.
Coach Chafin served as an assistant coach for 12 years under legendary Gator head coach Bill Potter. In 1978, Chafin took over as the head coach of the Gators, and over the next six years his teams posted a 108-55 record. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1984. Chafin remained a part of the Gator tennis family after his retirement and was the founder of the annual Gator Summer Youth Camps.