Tigers Fall to No. 6 Gators
BATON ROUGE— The No. 44 LSU men’s tennis team fell to No. 6 Florida, 7-0, Friday night at the LSU Tennis Complex.
The Tigers fall to 9-4 overall and 1-2 in SEC play. Florida showed why they were picked to be the SEC Champions in the preseason, but the Tigers had their chances for points.
In doubles, the sophomore duo of Boris Kozlov and Nick Watson suffered their second loss of the season by a score of 6-2. The Tigers switched up their usual court one and court two duos, with senior Rafael Wagner pairing with junior Joey Thomas, and sophomore Daniel Moreno pairing with freshman Ronald Hohmann. Wagner and Thomas received their first duo win of the season, defeating the No. 45 duo in Will Grant and Johannes Ingildsen, 6-4. Moreno and Hohmann had a chance to secure the doubles point by pushing the No. 19 duo of Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice to a tie-break. It was back-and-forth break, but the Gators eventually won it, 7-6 (7-5.)
After doubles, the Tigers didn’t have many chances at points. The Gators quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Rafael Wagner suffered his third loss of the season to No. 97 Andy Andrade, 6-3, 6-0, and Malik Bhatnagar was defeated by No. 10 Oliver Crawford, 6-4, 6-0. Florida secured the win on court five after No. 115 Lukas Greif defeated freshman Tomas Descarrega, 6-1, 6-4. The Tigers had chances to bring it closer on the final three courts, but Florida had clutch moments preventing that. Nick Watson dropped the first set on court six 2-6, but came back strong in the second set, winning 6-3. Florida’s Josh Goodger returned the favor to Watson in the third, only dropping one set and winning, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Ronald Hohmann had a chance to pull off an upset on No. 5 Sam Riffice but came up short. Hohmann won the first set, 6-4, and Riffice struck back in the second set, 6-2. Since Florida already clinched the match, the third set went to a 10-point tiebreak. Neither could break away until the tie-break was tied, 8-8. Riffice won the last two points, winning 4-6, 6-2, 1-0(8), pushing Florida’s lead to 6-0. Florida’s No. 22 Duarte Vale finished the match on court three after defeating No. 96 Boris Kozlov, 6-4, 7-5.
The Tigers try to bounce back at home against the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Nicholls State Colonels, this Sunday, March 6th at Noon and 5 p.m. CST.
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#6 University of Florida 7, #44 LSU 0
Singles (Order of Finish 4, 1, 5, 6, 2, 3)
1. #10 Oliver Crawford (UF) def. Malik Bhatnagar (LSU) 6-4, 6-0
2. #5 Sam Riffice (UF) def. Ronald Hohmann (LSU) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8)
3. #22 Duarte Vale (UF) def. #99 Boris Kozlov (LSU) 6-4, 7-5
4. #97 Andy Andrade (UF) def. Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-3, 6-0
5. #115 Lukas Greif (UF) def. Tomas Descarrega (LSU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Josh Goodger (UF) def. Nick Watson (LSU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Doubles (Order of Finish 3, 2, 1)
University of Florida 15-2 (3-0 SEC); National ranking #6
LSU 9-4 (1-2 SEC); National ranking #44
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1,5,6,2,3)
Official: Richie Weaver