May 20th, 2019

UF, UCF Runs End at NCAA Tennis National Championships

College Tennis

The University of Florida men’s tennis season ended on Saturday when the Gators were defeated in the NCAA Division I Tennis National Championships semifinals by the University of Texas 4-2 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla.

The Gators lost the doubles point when the No. 1 and No. 3 teams fell in the one-set format and the No. 2 spot went uncompleted. UF got off to a slow start in the singles, losing the first set in four of the six singles before the Longhorns wrapped-up the match. Winning in singles for the Gators were Oliver Crawford at No. 1 and Andy Andrade at No. 5. UF’s Alfredo Perez was at 4-6, 6-3, 3-3 when his match was called unfinished at No. 4 singles as Texas has clinched the overall match.

It was Florida’s third trip to the Final Four in school history and first since 2005. They fell to 0-3 in all-time Final Four appearances and a 25-4 win-loss to end their 2018-19 season.

“Texas did a nice job today in the critical stages of matches,” said head coach Bryan Shelton. “We always say those first 20 minutes of singles, you really want to set the tone and I thought Texas did a great job of that, coming out aggressively. I think our guys were up for the fight.”

The Gators fell behind 3-0 in the match but brought the overall score to 3-2 before Texas earning the clinching win at No. 3 singles where Leonardo Telles edged UF’s Johannes Ingildsen 6-4, 7-5.

“I thought if we could get them deep, we had a good chance in the heat, extend the matches a little bit longer and continue to play, that we would have our chances,” Shelton said. “They did a good job at stepping up at the right time and executing.”

The University of Central Florida women reached the furthest of Florida women’s Division I programs, advancing out of regional play to post their first-ever round of 16 result in the tournament.

In the round of 16 the No. 23-ranked UCF women fell to the No. 6-ranked Pepperdine Waves 4-2.

“We played a heck of a doubles point today. We looked incredible from the start,” said UCF head coach Bryan Koniecko, “Going into singles, we were there. I thought we were about two or three points on a couple of courts from having that match roll our way. The match was there for the taking, I hope it’s a learning experience going forward.”

UCF won the doubles point on the last match, but in the singles quickly lost four of the first six sets before Pepperdine accumulated four singles wins.

The number of firsts for the UCF women this season included a first national round of 16 appearance, a first American Athletic Conference championship, and a best-ever win-loss record of 24-4 record.

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