March 12, 2010
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 68 Auburn men's tennis team continued its tough SEC schedule on the road, facing the No. 7 Florida Gators. After a two-hour weather delay, the two teams squared off and saw the Gators come away with the 5-2 victory.
The win pushes Florida to 11-2 overall and 3-0 in SEC play, while Auburn is now 3-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
"Once again, we found ourselves down a point after doubles," head coach Eric Shore said. "We began to claw our way back into the match during singles and had a chance but couldn't capitalize. The team played much better compared to last weekend and are starting to get some momentum."
The Gators opened the afternoon with an 8-3 win at the No. 2 doubles spot as 43rd-ranked Sekou Bangoura Jr. and Joey Burkhardt topped Andreas Mies and Michel Monteiro by a score of 8-3. Florida took the doubles point when No. 16 Antoine Benneteau and Alexandre Lacroix defeated Auburn's Tim Puetz and Alex Stamchev, 8-4, at No. 1 doubles.
Freshmen pair Tim Hewitt and Lucas Lopasso battled Florida's Daniel Cash and Bob Van Overbeek in a tightly-contested No. 3 doubles spot. The Auburn duo picked up their second win of the season, defeating the Gator team by a score of 9-8 (5).
Florida took the first two singles points, seeing wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots. Stamchev, however, would put the Tigers on the board as the No. 89 singles player topped Benneteau in two sets (7-5, 6-3) at No. 3 singles.
A pair of top 30 players in Florida's Lacroix (No. 6) and Auburn's Puetz (No. 26) faced off at No. 1 singles. Lacroix took set one by a score of 7-5 and came out on top in set two by that same score to secure the Florida team victory.
Hewitt found himself down early at No. 2 singles, dropping the first set, 6-1, to Burkhardt. The London, England, product bounced back and captured a tough second set by a score of 7-5. Hewitt recorded his seventh win of the season after beating Burkhardt 6-1 in the third and final set.
Closing out competition was a battle at No. 4 singles between Auburn's Lopasso and Florida's Van Overbeek. The Gator took the first set, 6-3, but Lopasso bested Van Overbeek by the same score in the second set. The pair exchanged points throughout the deciding set and, tied at six apiece, Van Overbeek was able to outscore Lopasso in the tiebreak, winning 7-6 (5).
The Tigers conclude the weekend in Columbia, S.C., facing No. 50 South Carolina Sunday. The match is set to start at 12 p.m.
1. No. 6 Alexandre Lacroix (Florida) def. No. 26 Tim Puetz (Auburn); 7-5, 7-5
2. Tim Hewitt (Auburn) def. Joey Burkhardt (Florida); 1-6, 7-5, 6-1
3. No. 89 Alex Stamchev (Auburn) def. No. 121 Antoine Benneteau (Florida); 7-5, 6-3
4. Bob Van Overbeek (Florida) def. Lucas Lopasso (Auburn); 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5)
5. Sekou Bangoura Jr. (Florida) def. Oliver Strecker (Auburn); 6-3, 6-2
6. Nassim Slilam (Florida) def. Michael Wardell (Auburn); 6-3, 6-3
1. No. 16 Benneteau/Lacroix (Florida) def. No. 7 Puetz/Stamchev (Auburn); 8-4
2. No. 43 Bangoura Jr./Burkhardt (Florida) def. Mies/Monteiro (Auburn); 8-3
3. Hewitt/Lopasso (Auburn) def. Cash/Van Overbeek (Florida); 9-8 (5)
Florida 11-2, National ranking #7
Auburn 3-7, National ranking #68
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,6,3,1,2,4)