Friday January 31, 2014Men's Tennis Heads to Los Angeles for Pac-12/SEC Showdown
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—The Florida men’s tennis team, ranked 11th in this week’s ITA men’s team rankings, travels to Los Angeles this weekend to face two of the nation’s best – No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Southern California. The Gators and Bruins will play on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by a UF-USC matchup on Sunday.
Georgia will also be playing in the event, taking on USC on Saturday and UCLA on Sunday.
Sunday’s matches are scheduled to air on the Pac-12 Network. The Georgia-UCLA match will begin at 1 p.m. ET and the Florida-USC match is scheduled to start 15 minutes after the conclusion of the first match. Fans can also check out the online stream.
Florida (3-0) is coming of its first week of dual matches and earned a berth in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Houston on Feb. 14-17. The Gators beat UNC Wilmington Saturday and then won against TCU on Sunday in the championship.
UCLA (3-0) and USC (2-0) also qualified for the National Indoor Tournament last weekend. The Bruins are coming off a national runner-up finish in 2013. The Trojans won four-straight national titles from 2009-12 and advanced to the elite eight last season.
FROM THE COACH – Head Coach Bryan Shelton
On the trip to Los Angeles this weekend:
“It’s going to be a great trip for us. We’re looking forward to getting out there and playing two of the premier programs in the country for the last 30 or 40 years. We play UCLA on Saturday and USC on Sunday. I think their rankings right now are 2 and 4 in the nation, which is well deserved. Year-in and year-out they’ve been in the final four at the NCAA Championships and four of the last five titles have gone to USC, and UCLA was in the finals last year. For our guys, it’s a great opportunity to see the very best, compete against them and find out just where we stack up against them early in the season. I think it will give us some great information as we move forward.”
On last weekend’s ITA Kick-Off matches:
“I thought our young guys played really well [last weekend]. Maxx Lipman and Elliott Orkin, they’ve both already clinched a match for us. That’s pretty good for two of our freshmen to step up for us. Then Diego Hidalgo got in his first match on Sunday in singles. He didn’t get to complete the match, but he started playing better and better as the match progressed, which we like to see. I’m excited about the young ones coming up, and then we have our veteran leaders there as well. Florent Diep played extremely well, especially in the last match on Sunday. Spencer Newman is exciting and fun to watch playing at the No. 1 spot for us. There are a lot of good things and we continue to work hard. That’s what I love about this team is their work ethic and their commitment – going out there and giving their best every single day and trying to improve. As we continue to do that through the season, I think we’ll continue to get better and better as we go.”
For all of the latest information on Florida men’s tennis:
Official Website: www.GatorZone.com/tennis/men