Saturday May 10, 2014Gators Blank St. John's to Advance to NCAA Second Round
UF freshman Elliott Orkin sealed the victory in the 2014 NCAA First Round.
The Florida men’s tennis team came ready to play today.
UF took down St. John’s (NY), 4-0, in the NCAA First Round this afternoon and is set to play in-state foe South Florida tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the NCAA Second Round at the Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Florida. The winner of tomorrow’s match will advance to the NCAA Round of 16 in Athens, Georgia.
Florida worked fast in doubles, dominated on all three courts and closed in on the first point on the match with an 8-2 win at No. 3.
The Gators took the first set on five of six courts, with sophomore Diego Hidalgo and senior Mike Alford shutting out their opponents, 6-0, at Nos. 4 and 6. Hidalgo continued his dominant singles play to defeat SJU’s Vaidik Munshaw in two perfect sets to lift the Gators 2-0 over the Red Storm.
Alford collected his 86th career singles win, giving him sole possession of eighth all-time in UF history, with the win on court six. Leading 3-0, UF freshman Elliott Orkin then conquered SJU’s Robert Livi to seal the victory for the Orange and Blue.
Head Coach Bryan Shelton
“I’m really happy with today’s result. I feel like St. John’s came out and provided a lot of resistance. It’s not easy being from the northeast and coming south to play in this type of heat. I thought that they did a nice job from start to finish. [St. John’s] Head coach Rebhuhn did a great job getting his guys ready. I was really proud of our guys though. I felt like we prepared well for today. After exams ended, the guys were focused on tennis and did a good job of making sure they were ready for today. A year ago, we lost to Denver in the first round, so it feels good to come out here and get a decisive win, 4-0 against a very good St. John’s team. Proud of our guys – they came out and played good doubles. We were able to establish some momentum in the singles and then finish it off thanks to Elliott Orkin.”
On facing South Florida tomorrow:
“We will have a tough test against South Florida tomorrow. They certainly have our attention. We know that they are a loud group. They make a lot of noise out there on the court. They’re their own cheerleaders out there and they play good tennis. For us, we’re ready to go. It’s going to be a battle for sure. Our guys are battled tested coming through the SEC and we know what it’s like to go out there and fight for a match every time out. I think we’re fortunate to have played the schedule we have played this year which sets us up nicely for tomorrow’s match.”
Freshman Elliott Orkin
On Florida doing what it should – winning:
“This is my first time playing in the NCAA tournament. Every single team that makes it to the tournament is going to be a tough outing. St. John’s won their conference, so they’re a very good team. We played well today to get the win. We got up early on every single court, especially in doubles. I felt like we did a great a job as a team putting the pressure on them early and taking it to them.”
On clinching the match
“It’s always a good feeling to get the clinch, especially in the NCAA Tournament. It wasn’t just me that got the win today.”
On facing South Florida tomorrow
“We’re really looking forward to it. Coach has been talking all year about getting to Athens and we’re one match away. We have a tough test tomorrow against South Florida, but I think we’re really prepared and we’re going to get the job done.”
No. 14 seed Florida 4, St. John’s (NY) 0
(1) No. 20 Florent Diep/Gordon Watson (UF) def. No. 78 Vaidik Munshaw/Lucas Hejhal (SJU) 8-3 [:44]
(2) Maxx Lipman/Elliott Orkin (UF) vs. No. 74 Erick Reyes/R.J. Del Nunzio (SJU) 7-4, unfinished
(3) Mike Alford/Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. Robert Livi/Michael-John Every (SJU) 8-2 [:49]*
Florida wins doubles point.
Order of finish: 1, 3*
(1) No. 51 Florent Diep (UF) vs. R.J. Del Nunzio (SJU) 6-1, 5-3, unfinished
(2) No. 108 Gordon Watson (UF) vs. Erick Reyes (SJU) 1-6, 4-4, unfinished
(3) Maxx Lipman (UF) vs. Lucas Hejhal (SJU) 6-2, 3-3, unfnished
(4) Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. Vaidik Munshaw (SJU) 6-0, 6-0 [:55]
(5) No. 98 Elliott Orkin (UF) def. Robert Livi (SJU) 6-4, 6-2 [1:15]*
(6) Mike Alford (UF) def. Freddy Ruiz Acevedo (SJU) 6-0, 6-1 [1:05]
Order of finish: 4, 6, 5*
Records: Florida 16-9, St. John’s (NY) 16-8
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