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Sunday March 3, 2013Gators Open SEC Play with Win against No. 11 Texas A&M

Gainesville, Fla.

The 35th-ranked University of Florida menís tennis team (7-4, 1-0) opened conference play with a thrilling 4-3 victory against No. 11 Texas A&M (9-4, 1-0) on Sunday, March 3 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex. It marked head coach Bryan Sheltonís first victory in the SEC as the helm of the Gatorsí program.

 

ďIt feels great,Ē Shelton said. ďI love it. This was great for our team, great for our program. This match today was the start of a new season, the SEC season. For me, itís the first time through. To start with a win after losing four in-a-row, weíre feeling great about it.Ē

 

With the team score knotted up at 3-3, the final point came down to the fourth singles match. Junior Mike Alford clinched the match for the Gators in dramatic fashion. Alford rallied to defeat Texas A&Mís Shane Vinsant, the 90th-ranked player in the country, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5).

 

ďFor Mike to be the one that clinched today after being in that position last week and not quite getting it, itís a beautiful thing,Ē commented Shelton. ďItís a negative turned into a positive and now he feels like he is on top of the world.Ē

 

UF was in an early hole after the visiting Aggies won the hotly-contested doubles point. After splitting on Court 2 and 3, the point came down to the matchup at the first doubles position. Senior Bob van Overbeek and junior Stephane Piro came up just short, suffering a 9-8 (3) setback to Texas A&Mís Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow, the 17th-ranked pair in the nation.

 

Alford and fellow junior Florent Diep were victorious at third doubles, defeating TAMUís Jeremy Efferding and Jordan Szabo 8-4. On Court 2, senior Billy Federhofer and redshirt freshman Gordon Watson suffered an 8-6 setback to TAMUís Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant, the 21st-ranked doubles tandem in collegiate tennis. †

 

Texas A&M jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Ore defeated van Overbeek 6-4, 6-1 in first singles. UF was not down two points long and scored its first point of the day by virtue of winning the sixth singles match. Federhofer beat TAMUís Behzad Minavi, 6-0, 6-4 to cut the Aggiesí hold to 2-1.

 

Diep tied the score at 2-2 when he defeated the Aggiesí Adams 6-4, 6-3 on Court 2. It marked Diepís first victory in singles competition since the Florida State match.

 

After winning the first set without dropping a single game, Piro lost the remaining two sets in a tough 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 loss to Texas A&Mís Efferding. The loss at third singles gave Texas A&M a 3-2 advantage with two matches remaining.

 

Watson kept the host team alive, defeating TAMUís Withrow, 7-5, 7-6 (6) in the fifth singles slot. It seemed all but certain that the match would go to a third set as Withrow was leading the second set tiebreaker 6-3. Watson won the next five points to take the set and match. His victory at fifth singles set the stage for Alford and the eventual UF win.

 

ďMoments like that when the match is on the line, the person that steps us the most is usually the guy that comes out on top. To get your first win in the SEC, you have to take it. For us, this was our first opportunity and I wanted to go up there and have no regrets.Ē

 

Florida returns to action on Friday, March 8 when the team travels to Colombia, S.C. for its match against South Carolina.

 

2013 University of Florida Menís Tennis

Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex

Gainesville, Florida

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Doubles

FLORIDA

vs

Texas A&M

Winner

 

Score (match length)

Stephane Piro

Junior Ore (17)

No. 1 -

Bob van Overbeek

 

Jackson Withrow (17)

TAMU

 

9-8 (3) (1:17) *

Billy Federhofer

Harrison Adams (21)

No. 2 -

Gordon Watson

 

Shane Vinsant (21)

TAMU

 

8-6 (:44)

Mike Alford

Jeremy Efferding

No. 3 -

Florent Diep

 

Jordan Szabo

UF

 

8-4 (:53)

Singles

FLORIDA

vs

Texas A&M

Winner

 

Score (match length)

No. 1 -

Bob van Overbeek (104)

 

Junior Ore

TAMU

 

6-4, 6-1 (1:06)

No. 2 -

Florent Diep (62)

 

Harrison Adams

UF

 

6-4, 6-3 (1:33)

No. 3 -

Stephane Piro

 

Jeremy Efferding

TAMU

 

0-6, 6-4, 6-3 (1:47)

No. 4 -

Mike Alford

 

Shane Vinsant (90)

UF

 

3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5) (2:18) *

No. 5 -

Gordon Watson

 

Jackson Withrow (115)

UF

 

7-5, 7-6 (6) (1:59)

No. 6 -

Billy Federhofer

 

Behzad Minavi

UF

 

6-0, 6-4 (1:08)

FINAL SCORE:

Florida - 2

Texas A&M Ė 3

* Clinched victory

Records:

Florida 7-4 (1-0)

Texas A&M 9-5 (1-1)

Order of Finish:

Doubles: 2, 3, 1

Singles: 1, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4

Attendance:

157

 

 

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