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Gamecocks Fall to No. 5 Florida
Men's Tennis  . 

Gamecocks Fall to No. 5 Florida

Gainesville, Fla. – No. 6 South Carolina men’s tennis fell 7-0 to the No. 5 ranked Florida Gators on Friday. The Gamecocks won one doubles match on the day.
Doubles matches were closely contested, with the decision coming down to Court 3. On Court 1, Daniel Rodrigues and Beau Pelletier paired up to take down Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton 6-3. The next doubles match went to Florida with Raphael Lambling and Carter Morgan falling 6-3 to the Gators.
Court 3 was a hard fought battle between Jake Beasley and Casey Hoole against Nate Bonetto and Duarte Vale of Florida. The Florida duo went up 2-0 to start the match, but the Gamecocks fought back to take the lead 5-3. Florida rallied to tie the match and force a tiebreak.
The tiebreak was long and evenly matched with the lead changing often but no team able to end the match. South Carolina and Florida staved off match point several times. The Gamecocks eventually lost in a heartbreaker after Florida finished the tiebreak 13-11 to take the doubles point.
In singles, Bonetto earned the Gators their first point. He defeated Pelletier on Court 5, 6-2, 6-1. The next singles point went to Vale on Court 3. Beasley fought hard in the second set to try to even the match but came up just short. After going down 1-3, Beasley won three straight games to take the lead 4-3. His run at the win ended there with Vale putting up a run of his own, taking the match 6-1, 6-4.
No. 63 Riffice clinched the match for Florida, defeating Lambling 6-2, 6-2 on Court 2. The Gators added to their lead with a straight- set win on Court 6.
No. 19 Rodrigues took on No. 3 Shelton at the top of the lineup. The two had a long match with many lead changes. Shelton led most of the first set, but Rodrigues was always close behind with the lead never extending more than two games until Shelton pulled away to win the set 6-3.
The second set was also lengthy with Rodrigues starting out with a 2-1 lead. Shelton evened the set at 2-2, but Rodrigues took back the lead 3-2. The Gamecock lead 4-3 but the highly-ranked Gator put up three straight games to win the second set 6-4.
The final match on court was Hoole against No. 36 Andres Andrade. Hoole won the first set after trailing 2-4. He put up three straight games to lead 5-4, but his opponent evened the match and force a tiebreak. Hoole initially went down in the tiebreak 2-3 but battled back to win the first set 7-6 (4).
Andrade was favored throughout the second set. He went up 3-0 before Hoole was able to get a game on the board. The Gator took the second set 6-4 to even the match.
With the match already clinched, the third set was played as a 10-point tiebreak. Hoole was up 4-2 in the tiebreak before suffering an apparent leg injury. He fought through the evident pain but was unable to retain his lead. Andrade took the final set 10-7, giving the Gators the 7-0 win.
The Gamecocks will be in action next at home on Sunday, March 6. They will continue conference play against No. 42 LSU at the Carolina Tennis Center. First serve will be at 1:00 p.m.
For all the latest South Carolina men’s tennis information, continue to follow or the team on social media (@GamecockMTennis).
(5) Florida 7, (6) South Carolina 0
Doubles (order of finish: 1, 2, 3)
1. Rodrigues/Pelletier (SC) def. Riffice/Shelton (UF) 6-3
2. Andrade/Simmar (UF) def. Lambling/Morgan 6-3
3. Bonetto/Vale (UF) def. Beasley/Hoole 7-6(11)
Singles (order of finish: 5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4)
1. (3) Shelton (UF) def. (19) Rodrigues (SC) 6-3, 6-4
2. (63) Riffice (UF) def. Lambling (SC) 6-2, 6-2
3. Vale (UF) def. Beasley (SC) 6-1, 6-4
4. (36) Andrade (UF) def. Hoole (SC) 6-7(4), 6-4, 1-0(7)
5. Bonetto (UF) def. Pelletier (SC) 6-2, 6-1
6. Shelbayh (UF) def. Morgan (SC) 6-3, 6-2