Men’s Tennis Hosts Florida Friday, Doubleheader Sunday

by Christian Verde
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Men’s Tennis Hosts Florida Friday, Doubleheader Sunday

BATON ROUGE — The No. 44 LSU men’s tennis team hosts the No. 6 Florida Gators Friday, March 6th, at 5 p.m. at the LSU Tennis Complex. The Tigers have Saturday off then welcome the No. 29 South Carolina Gamecocks and the Nicholls Colonels to the LSU Tennis Complex on Sunday, March 8th, at Noon and 5 p.m.

The match versus Nicholls is a makeup from February 9th.

The 9-3 Tigers split their matches last weekend on the opening weekend of SEC play. LSU defeated then No. 39 Vanderbilt, 4-3, last Friday for their first SEC win of the season. On Sunday, the Tigers traveled to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. This time, LSU was on the opposite side of a 4-3 match, falling to Kentucky.

Friday’s match will be the 63rd meeting between LSU and Florida. The Gators lead the series, 33-28-1 and have won the last seven meetings. LSU and South Carolina will meet for the 41st time with LSU leading the series 29-11. Their last meeting was in the 2019 SEC tournament where the Gamecocks defeated the Tigers, 4-2. LSU is an undefeated 6-0 against Nicholls all-time, coming off a 4-0 win for LSU last season.

Admission to all matches in the LSU Tennis Complex is free. Fans can follow the match at LSUstats.com and on Twitter @LSUTennis. The matches will also be streamed online at LSUsports.net.

Tigers in The Rankings

The Tigers dropped six spots to No. 44 in the latest ITA Rankings. Sophomore Boris Kozlov moved up three spots to No. 96 after going 2-0 last weekend, pushing his record to 8-0 on the dual season. Following up on his SEC All-Freshman performance last season, Kozlov is leading LSU in wins and holding down court three.

Scouting the Gators

No. 6 Florida (14-2, 2-0 SEC)

The No. 6 Gators were picked to win the SEC in the preseason and they’re living up to the hype. Florida is 14-2 on the season and 6-2 against ranked opponents with wins over No. 9 Columbia, No. 14 Wake Forest, and No. 17 Alabama. Their only two losses are to No. 3 Texas and No. 2 North Carolina. The Gators have a plethora of ranked talent with six players ranked in singles and three ranked duos. Florida is led by last year’s SEC Freshman of the year, No. 5 Sam Riffice (10-2), followed up by No. 10 Oliver Crawford (10-3) and No. 22 Duarte Vale (12-2). They’re rounded out with No. 86 Blaise Bicknell (7-0), No. 97 Andy Andrade (8-1), and No. 115 Lukas Greif (7-2). In doubles, Crawford/Riffice land at No. 19 with an 8-2 record on court one. No. 45 Will Grant/Johannes Ingildsen are 9-2 and No. 63 Brian Berdusco/Ingildsen haven’t played a dual match yet.

Scouting the Gamecocks

No. 29 South Carolina (8-4, 2-1 SEC)

The No. 29 Gamecocks will be a challenge for the Tigers, as they were projected to finish tied for third in the SEC. They defeated Auburn, 5-2, last Friday but fell to No. 17 Alabama, 4-3, on Sunday. Another team with talent everywhere, South Carolina has three ranked in singles and three ranked in doubles. They’re led on court one by No. 40 Paul Jubb (5-2), followed by No. 45 Raphael Lambling (8-3) and No. 46 Daniel Rodrigues (6-2). In doubles, No. 30 Lambling/Rodrigues (4-4) and No. 41 Jubb/Connor Thomson (5-1) split time leading court one. No. 80 Thomas Brown and Beau Pelletier are 1-0 on court three.

Scouting the Colonels

Nicholls (4-3, 0-0 SLC)

Nicholls is coming off a 4-3 victory last weekend over UT Rio Grande Valley. Omar Hussein and Antoine Martin-Thiriat lead the Colonels with five wins. Hussein holds down court four and Martin-Thiriat holds down court six. Nicholls has a 5-10 record in doubles, led by Hussein and Pavle Drobnjakovic with two wins.

Follow the Tigers Online

For up-to-date information and behind-the-scenes access on the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men’s tennis team on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.