Tuesday April 16, 2013Men's Tennis No. 3 Seed in 2013 SEC Tournament This Week
The Florida men’s tennis team travels to Oxford, Miss., this week to begin postseason play at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament, hosted by Ole Miss at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center. The Gators finished in a four-way tie for third place in the SEC and will be the No. 3 seed by virtue of the tiebreaking procedures.
“This is always my favorite time of the year,” said head coach Bryan Shelton on Monday. “Tournament play – there’s nothing better in sports. Our NCAA tournament is just a little bit away, but we’ve got the conference tournament first and for us it’s an opportunity.”
As the No. 3 seed, Florida will have a bye and play the winner of Thursday’s match between LSU and South Carolina on Friday at 10 a.m. ET. The winner of Friday’s match will advance to Saturday’s semifinal, scheduled for 11 a.m.
“You look at the draw and the bracket and see that we’re the No. 3 seed and we’ll play the winner between LSU and South Carolina, two teams that we lost to during the regular season,” said Coach Shelton. “That’s a lot of fun to have an opportunity to go back against a team that we’ve lost to and have an opportunity to reverse that.
The Gators are coming off of one of their best stretches of the season, sporting a three-match win streak and having won four of their final five SEC matches, including wins against No. 7 Ole Miss, No. 8 Kentucky and No. 13 Vanderbilt.
“We’re certainly happy about the last couple of weekends and how we’ve done,” Shelton said. “But we know that we’re just one slipup away from being knocked out of the tournament in the first round. We’ve got to be ready. Our attention is definitely back on task and we know we’ve got to be prepared come Friday.”
The Georgia Bulldogs are the top seed in the tournament after winning the regular season title with an 11-1 conference record. Tennessee, who finished 8-4 in SEC play, is the No. 2 seed. Florida won a tiebreaker between Ole Miss, South Carolina and Texas A&M after all four teams finished 7-5 in league play.
“The league is certainly strong,” said Shelton on Monday after the regular season was finished. “I’ve got to tip my hat to Georgia, as much as I hate to do it, they had a great year this year. They’re the one team that stood out a little bit in our league. Their overall record was 11-1 [in the SEC] and the next best team had eight wins and we had seven. They were clearly the top dogs this year, but the tournament is a whole nother matter and everyone has an opportunity to be successful.”
There will be live scoring for the entire tournament through the Ole Miss web site and its SEC Championship page: http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/2013-SEC-Championship.html
2013 SEC Tournament
April 17 - 21 • Oxford, Miss.
Wednesday, April 17
#13 Arkansas vs. #12 Alabama – 2 p.m.
Thursday, April 18
#11 LSU vs. #6 South Carolina – 10 a.m.
#10 Auburn vs. #7 Vanderbilt – 1 p.m.
#13/12 Winner vs. #5 Ole Miss – 4 p.m.
#9 Mississippi State vs. #8 Kentucky – 7 p.m.
Friday, April 19
#6/11 Winner vs. #3 Florida – 10 a.m.
#10/7 Winner vs. #2 Tennessee – 1 p.m.
#5/12/13 Winner vs. #4 Texas A&M – 4 p.m.
#8/9 Winner vs. #1 Georgia – 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 20
Semifinal #1 – 11 a.m.
Semifinal #2 – 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 21
Championship – 2 p.m.