Thursday February 13, 2014ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship Gets Underway Friday from Houston
The No. 12 Florida men’s tennis team takes the court for the first time since Feb. 2 tomorrow at the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship. Texas A&M will host the 40th annual Championship at The Downtown Club at the Met and the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club in Houston, Feb. 14-17.
Florida will face an early test taking on No. 5 Ohio State in the first round tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET. Ohio State has reached the finals at the team indoors three times in the last eight years, but has yet to take home the title. In the second round, the Gators will face either No. 4 Georgia or No. 10 Texas on Saturday.
UF is aiming to reach the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship finals for the first time since 2003, and second-year head coach Bryan Shelton will be looking to lead the Gators to their first title at the event.
Shelton Says: “They’re [Ohio State] perennially a very good team – one of the top teams in the country year-in and year-out. [Ohio State Head Coach] Ty Tucker does a great job with their group and obviously they have a lot of experience playing indoors. Here in sunny Florida, we’re outside most of the season. It’s nice to be able to practice indoors at our new facility and get prepared for this event. It’s going to be a great challenge playing Ohio State, but our guys are excited about the challenge and looking forward to it.”
SEC Showdown: A total of five conferences will be represented at this year's Championship, led by the five SEC teams that earned their way to Houston: No. 4 Georgia, No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 9 Mississippi State, No. 12 Florida and No. 14 Tennessee. For the complete draw, click here.
Mississippi State (9)
Notre Dame (16)
Ohio State (5)
Texas A&M (8)
Nationally Ranked Gators: Two Florida singles players are ranked nationally, led by 55th-ranked senior Stephane Piro, along with 114th-ranked freshman Elliott Orkin. Orkin and sophomore Gordon Watson represent the Gators in doubles as No. 11 in the nation and senior duo Michael Alford and Piro rank 24th.
Follow the Gators: For complete coverage of the 2014 ITA Division I National Men's Team Indoor Championship, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from the weekend's events. Use the hashtag #ITAIndoors for all tweets regarding the competition.