GAINESVILLE, March 21, 2019 (Press Release)
For the second time this season, the No. 13 Illinois men’s tennis team falls to the No. 4 Florida Gators, 6-1, on Wednesday night at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, Fla. Illinois moves to 7-6 overall this season.
“Florida outplayed us,” said head coach Brad Dancer. “They have great players and are well coached. We talk about constant pressure and I felt like that was what Florida did to us. We got up early in the doubles, but they (Florida) kept constant pressure in doubles and we folded.”
Florida jumped out to an early advantage on Wednesday night with wins on courts one and two to secure the doubles point. In singles play, Sam Riffice defeated sophomore Alex Brown 6-3, 6-2. On court three, junior Zeke Clark fell to No. 29 Andres Andrade, 6-2, 6-4. Johannes Ingildsen clinched the Florida Gators’ sweep, 6-4, 6-2 over freshman Siphosothando Montsi on court two. This marked the first time in Montsi’s career that he played in the No. 4 position.
“Again, in singles they have great players, so it is going to be a challenge dropping the doubles point and trying to find four points,” noted Dancer.
After the 4-0 Florida win, the Gators grabbed victories on courts four and six. Junior No. 14 Aleks Kovacevic posted the Illini’s only point with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over No. 15 Oliver Crawford. This marked Kovacevic’s fifth win over ranked opponents and second over Crawford this season. The New York native remains undefeated in singles play with an 9-0 record.
“Florida was too good for us”, said Dancer. “Another big challenge Friday at UCF.”
— Illinois M Tennis (@IlliniMTennis) 20. März 2019
Up next, the Illini continue their Florida tour at the renowned USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., where they will face hosts UCF on Friday afternoon at 11 a.m. CT.
Singles competition: Order of Finish (2,3,4,5,1,6)
1.#14 Aleks Kovacevic (UI) def. #15 Oliver Crawford (UF) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. #51 Sam Riffice (UF) def. #31 Alex Brown (UI) 6-3, 6-2
3. #29 Andres Andrade (UF) def. Zeke Clark (UI) 6-2, 6-4
4. #97 Johannes Ingildsen (UF) def. Siphosothando Montsi (UI) 6-4, 6-2
5. McClain Kessler (UF) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) 6-4, 6-2
6. Duarte Vale (UF) def. Keenan Mayo (UI) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
Doubles competition: Order of finish (2,1)
1. McClain Kessler/Duarte Vale (UF) def. #45 Alex Brown/Caleb Chakravarthi (UI) 6-3
2. Oliver Crawford/Sam Riffice (UF) def. Keenan Mayo/Aleks Kovacevic (UI) 6-3
3. Johannes Ingildsen/Alfredo Perez (UF) vs. Gui Gomes/Siphosothando Montsi (UI) 5-4, unfinished
Illinois 7-6; National ranking #13
Florida 13-2; National ranking #4