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Seniors Florent Diep and Mike Alford

Thursday April 3, 2014Split Weekend for No. 15 Florida Begins at No. 16 Mississippi State; Senior Day on Sunday

Starkville, Miss.

Seniors Florent Diep and Mike Alford

The No. 15 Florida men’s tennis team travels to Starkville to face No. 16 Mississippi State on Friday at 3 p.m. The Gators will honor their two seniors, Mike Alford and Florent Diep, on Sunday vs. Ole Miss just prior to the 1 p.m. match at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.

 

Florida battled against Mississippi State at home last year, but dropped the match, 4-3. Current UF seniors Alford and Diep both tallied wins in singles play. This Friday’s match plays a huge role in the current SEC standings as MSU sits at 6-3, UF 5-3, in conference play.

 

The Gators pulled a big upset in Oxford in 2013, defeating then-No. 7 Rebels, 4-1. Diep clinched the victory for UF.

 

SEC Showdown: Florida sports a 32-17 all-time record vs. Mississippi State and a 34-21 record against Ole Miss. The Rebels and the Gators finished the 2012-13 season tied for third in the SEC with a 7-5 record.

 

Records: Florida 10-7/5-3 SEC, Mississippi State 17-7/6-3 SEC, Ole Miss 8-10/3-6 SEC

 

Shelton Says: “It’s a big match, but every SEC match is a big match. To go on the road, we know that we’re going to have to be sharp and we’re going to have to bring a lot of energy. When they were at our place last year, we lost that match at home and that was a tough one. They came out ready, and they always do. [MSU Head Coach] Per Nilsson does a great job of getting his guys ready to play. Emotionally, they’re probably the loudest group we’ll play all year … They’re very loud on the court and they play with a lot of energy, so we have to match that ourselves. We’re going to use this weekend and the match at Mississippi State to not only get a W, but to get better at the same time.”

 

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 Friday’s match in Starkville can be found through hailstate.com. For Sunday’s home match, follow live scoring through GatorZone.com. Complete results will be posted to GatorZone at the conclusion of each day’s action.

 

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