Florida 4, Vanderbilt
Florida 4, Vanderbilt 1May 15, 2005
Gainesville, Fla. * For the fourth straight-year and the 12th time in the last 15 seasons, the third-ranked University of Florida mens tennis team advanced to the final site of the NCAA Championship with a 4-1 victory over No. 38 Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon in the regional final in front of 382 fans in Gainesville. With the victory, the Gators ran their record to 22-5 on the season as the squad has won 17 of the last 18 dual matches. Vanderbilt ended the 2005 campaign with a 13-12 record after making its fifth-consecutive appearance in the event.
Florida is one of 16 teams that made it through first and second round action to earn a trip to College Station, Texas, where Round of 16 play begins on Saturday, May 21. Florida awaits the result of this afternoons Oklahoma State-South Carolina match as the Gators face the winner. Times for the Round of 16 matches will be announced on Monday. Florida finished the regular season with a 7-0 win over USC in Columbia to win the programs ninth SEC title. UF last faced Oklahoma State in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament where the Cowboys took the match, 4-1.
These guys are going to Texas because they earned it with hard work and that is all there is to it, said UF head coach Andy Jackson. Today we played a team that went to the quarterfinals of the NCAA last year and were finalists the year before. Theyve been through a lot and really battled. They could have won the match, but you have to take your hats off to our guys who played under a lot of pressure and responded.
The Gators improved to 6-0 in the Round of 32 all-time as the squad has advanced to the final site every year under Jackson who is now in his fourth season. UFs 22 wins this season ties the 1978 team for the fifth-most victories in the history of the program
Vanderbilt forced Florida to come back and win the match after dropping the doubles point, which the Gators have now accomplished three of the last four matches and nine times this season. The Commodores earned the 1-0 lead when 12th-ranked Scott Brown and Jason Pinsky defeated UFs eighth-ranked Hamid Mirzadeh and Greg Ouellette at the top of the order, 8-5. UF got one of the two wins it was looking for when Chris Brandi and Jordan Dolberg jumped to a 6-2 lead and then held off Nathan Sachs and Evan Dufaux, 8-6. However, Ryan Preston and Matt Lockin outlasted UFs Nestor Briceno and Stefan Tell in a tiebreaker on court three, 9-8 (3).
UF got back into the match quickly by taking first-set wins on all six courts. Ouellette (No. 49 nationally) went on to even the match with a straight-set win over Pinsky on court two (6-1, 6-2). The win increased his dual record to 18-5 on the season and his overall mark to 36-8 to lead all Gators.
Ryan Sherry took a straight-set win at the bottom of the lineup over Dufaux (6-4, 6-2) to give UF its first lead of the afternoon. Sherry has won 17 of his last 18 matches, while his 21-3 dual match record leads the squad.
Mirzadeh (ranked 24th nationally) got the Gators to within one of clinching the match with a 7-6 (3), 6-4 win at the top of the lineup against Brown. The match marked the final appearance on UFs home courts for the senior whose victory was over the highest-ranked opponent he has defeated this year.
For the second-straight day, Vladimir Obradovic (ranked No. 95) clinched the match for the Gators with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 decision over Lockin. With the result, Obradovic has won five of his last six outings.
Florida vs. Vanderbilt
2005 NCAA Tournament Regional
Ring Tennis Complex - Gainesville, Fla.
(24) Hamid Mirzadeh (UF) def. (39) Scott Brown (VU), 7-6 (3), 6-4
(49) Greg Ouellette (UF) def. Jason Pinsky (VU), 6-1, 6-2
(95) Vladimir Obradovic (UF) vs. Matt Lockin (VU), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3*
Nestor Briceno (UF) vs. Ryan Preston (VU), DNF
(103) Chris Brandi (UF) vs. Nathan Sachs (VU), DNF
Ryan Sherry (UF) def. Evan Dufaux (VU), 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish * 2, 6, 1, 3
(12) Scott Brown/Jason Pinsky (VU) def. (8) Hamid Mirzadeh/Greg Ouellette (UF), 8-5
Chris Brandi/Jordan Dolberg (UF) def. Nathan Sachs/Evan Dufaux (VU), 8-6
Ryan Preston/Matt Lockin (VU) def. Nestor Briceno/Stefan Tell (UF), 9-8 (3)*
Order of Finish * 1, 2, 3
* - Clinched doubles point/dual match
-- Courtesy Florida