Thursday March 27, 2014No. 15 Gators Begin Three-Match Road Swing at Arkansas on Friday
The No. 15 Florida men’s tennis team travels to Fayetteville to face SEC-foe Arkansas on Friday at 4 p.m. followed by a trip to Baton Rouge to play LSU on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Gators went 1-1 against the two conference opponents last season. Florida dropped a close match, 4-2, to LSU in Gainesville followed by a 4-0 sweep of Arkansas. UF senior Mike Alford tallied a win at No. 4 singles in both 2013 SEC matches.
SEC Showdown: Florida boasts a 25-1 all-time record vs. Arkansas and has swept the last five matchups between the teams. The Gators have not lost to the Razorbacks since 1992 (L, 5-4 in Fayetteville). LSU holds the series advantage over UF, 27-24-1. Dating back to 2008, the series is even between the Tigers and the Gators, 3-3.
Records: Florida 9-6/4-2 SEC, Arkansas 11-12/1-6 SEC, LSU 10-9/1-6 SEC
Assistant Coach Mark Merklein’s Minute: “We’re working hard, as always. Bryan has this team ready. We’re just excited. We’re on a little bit of a run now and we’re trying to just keep things going.”
“We don’t take anyone lightly. It’s nice to go into the [LSU] match and know that this team beat us last year – now, we have to prove something.”
Tough Competition: While the Gators currently own a 9-6 record on the year, all six losses have come to teams ranked in the top-12 nationally: No. 1 Southern Cal, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Georgia, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 12 Texas A&M.
Nationally Ranked Gators: Four Florida singles players are ranked nationally: No. 78 sophomore Gordon Watson, No. 79 freshman Elliott Orkin, No. 81 senior Spencer Newman and newly-ranked No. 108 senior Florent Diep. Orkin and Watson represent the lone Gators duo as No. 18 in the national doubles rankings.
Follow the Gators: Live scoring for Sunday’s match in Baton Rouge can be found through lsusports.net. Complete results will be posted to GatorZone at the conclusion of each day’s action.