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Friday February 28, 2014No. 22 Florida Drops First SEC Match to No. 13 Texas A&M, 4-2

College Station, Texas

With seven tiebreakers in their SEC-opening match, the No. 22 Florida men’s tennis team dropped the first conference contest of the season to No. 13 Texas A&M, 4-2, on Friday night at George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.

 

Every doubles match went down to the wire, but eventually swayed Texas A&M’s way. Gators’ No. 26 senior pair Mike Alford and Stephane Piro held their own against top-ranked Aggies’ duo Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow, but dropped the match in a tiebreaker. Texas A&M then clinched the doubles point at No. 2 as ninth-ranked pair Elliott Orkin and Gordon Watson battled back-and-forth in the tiebreaker, but eventually fell 8-7 (9).

 

Senior Florent Diep worked quickly on court four singles to knot up the score, 1-1. Followed by an Aggies win at No. 2 singles, freshman Maxx Lipman then evened the match at two with a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1 victory over TAMU’s Withrow on court five.  

 

The Aggies’ 38th-ranked Jeremy Efferding rallied from a first-set deficit to clinch the victory for Texas A&M at singles No. 3.

 

Shelton Says: “Sometimes, the difference between a win and a loss is so small. Our guys competed hard. To go on the road and fight the way we did is hard to do. I’m proud of our guys. We gave a big effort against a great team tonight. It came down to a few points and they just executed those points better than we did.”

 

“Maxx is playing very well. It’s just good to see him step up and play with more confidence, play aggressive tennis and he really closed out the match in good fashion. That was impressive. Mike Alford, even though he didn’t get to finish, he went down 3-0 in the third set and just hung in there and welded himself back into the match.  I love that type of fight from our guys - just never giving in. Florent came out and played really good tennis and was able to win it in two sets that was well done. He’s playing better and better for us.”

 

No. 13 Texas A&M 4, No. 22 Florida 2

DOUBLES

(1) No. 1 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. No. 26 Stephane Piro/Michael Alford (UF) 8-7 (2)

(2) Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. No. 9 Elliott Orkin/Gordon Watson (UF) 8-7 (9)*

(3) Diego Hidalgo/Spencer Newman (UF) vs. No. 37 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 7-7, unfinished

Texas A&M wins doubles point.

Order of finish: 1, 2*

 

SINGLES

(1) No. 11 Harrison Adams def. No. 65 Spencer Newman (UF) 6-7 (3), 6-0, 6-2

(2) No. 26 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Gordon Watson (UF) 3-6, 6-3, 6-1

(3) No. 38 Jeremy Efferding def. Diego Hidalgo (UF) 2-6, 7-6 (0), 6-3*

(4) Florent Diep (UF) def. Junior Ore (TAMU) 6-3, 7-6 (0)

(5) Maxx Lipman (UF) def. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1

(6) Mike Alford (UF) vs. Jordan Szabo (TAMU) 6-3, 7-6 (5), 3-3, unfinished

Order of finish: 4, 2, 5, 1, 3*

 

Records: Florida 5-5 (0-1 SEC), Texas A&M 10-4 (1-0 SEC)


Up Next: The Gators return home to continue SEC play on Sunday, March 9, against the South Carolina Gamecocks at 1 p.m.

 

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