No. 3 Florida Advances in SEC Tournament After Defeating No. 42 LSU

ATHENS, Ga. – After winning the doubles point for the 16th time in a row and adding three more singles victories, the No. 3 Florida Gators defeated the No. 42 LSU Tigers by a 4-1 score to advance to the team’s sixth-consecutive semifinals at the SEC Tournament on Friday afternoon.

Keeping up with their solid doubles play, the Gators (21-2) were able to beat the Tigers (15-11) in two doubles matches to claim a 1-0 lead.

It started with a quick outing from the duo of Nate Bonetto and Duarte Vale at court three. Taking on Ben Koch and Nick Watson, the Florida pair put up a bagel to win their match, 6-0.

LSU evened the doubles contest with a victory at court two, but Florida would not go out without a fight. In fact, the No. 10-ranked tandem of Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton won in decisive fashion against Vlad Lobak and Ronald Hohmann, 6-2, to clinch the point.

Florida only needed three singles wins to claim their quarterfinal round match. No. 1 Shelton provided the second point for Florida with a straight-set win over No. 42 Hohmann by a couples scores of 6-3. This win puts him at 29-5 on the year and is also his di lui 19th ranked win.

The Tigers were able to put a point on the board with a victory at court six, but that was the only point allowed as Florida won the next two matches for a 4-1 outing.

Graduate Mattias Siimar made his singles debut since March 13 and picked up where he left off. The Estonia native won his match in straight-sets at court five as he defeated Joao Graco, 6-2, 6-3, moving to 15-4 on the season and 6-1 at the five spot.

Providing the final punch was No. 27 Riffice, who was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier in the day. The senior won the Gators’ third match in straight-sets with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Lobak at court two. Riffice remains a perfect 14-0 at the two singles position and is 18-4 overall.

Florida improves to 21-2 and 17-2 against ranked opponents, while extending its win streak to 16-straight matches.

UP NEXT: The Gators have an SEC Tournament rematch against the No. 5-ranked and No. 5-seeded Tennessee Vols on Saturday, April 23 at 2 pm

1. # 1 Ben Shelton (UF) def. # 42 Ronald Hohmann (LSU), 6-3, 6-3
2. # 27 Sam Riffice (UF) def. Vlad Lobak (LSU), 6-1, 6-4
3. # 87 Duarte Vale (UF) vs. Kent Hunter (LSU), 6-3, 3-6, 0-1, unfinished
4. # 122 Andy Andrade (UF) vs. Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU), 6-2, 3-5, unfinished
5. Mattias Siimar (UF) def. Joao Graco (LSU), 6-2, 6-3
6. Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. # 116 Josh Goodger (UF), 6-2, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 6, 5, 2

1. # 10 Sam Riffice/Ben Shelton (UF) def. Vlad Lobak / Ronald Hohmann (LSU), 6-2
2. Gabriel Diaz Freire / Kent Hunter (LSU) def. # 37 Andy Andrade/Mattias Siimar (UF), 6-0
3. Duarte Vale/Nate Bonetto (UF) def. Ben Koch / Nick Watson (LSU), 6-0
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1

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