May 9, 2009

*Courtesy of Miami (Fla.) Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 22 University of Miami men's tennis team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to knock off No. 10 Florida, 4-3, to win the Gainesville Regional in the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships at UF's Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex on Saturday.

The Hurricanes (16-8) now advance to the NCAA's Round of 16 for the second time in four years to square off versus No. 7 UCLA (19-4), who defeated Hawaii, 4-0, in its regional final in Los Angeles today.

Trailing 3-0, the Hurricanes were in a must-win situation in the four remaining matches if they wished to keep their season alive and snap a two-match losing streak to the Gators (18-9) - including a 4-1 loss to Florida in the NCAA second round match between the programs just one season ago.

Senior David Rosenfeld got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over No. 33 Alex Lacroix at the No. 2 position. Sophomore Christian Blocker kept it going, earned his third win in his last four matches to bring Miami within a point of the host Gators, 3-2, with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win at No. 5. Click here to find out more!

After splitting the first two sets, 13th-ranked All-American Daniel Vallverdu powered to the 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory in the top flight over No. 23 Carlos Cueto to knot the match at 3-3.

The focus then moved to the battle at the No. 3 position between All-American Carl Sundberg and UF's Antoine Benneteau, with a trip to the NCAA Round of 16 hanging in the balance. Benneteau claimed a tight first-set 7-6, but Sundberg came back to even it up with a 6-4 second-set win. With the match on the line, it was all Sundberg in the third set as he clinched the victory for the Hurricanes with the strong 6-1 decision.

Miami will face UCLA on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m. (EST) at Texas A&M's George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. Miami is among a nation-best four ACC teams (Virginia, Wake Forest, Florida State) to advance to this week's NCAA Round of 16. The SEC, Pac 10 and Big 12 will be represented by three teams apiece, while the Big Ten is sending two and the WAC has one.

No. 22 Miami 4, No. 10 Florida 3

1. #13 Daniel Vallverdu (UM) def. #23 Carlos Cueto (UF) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
2. David Rosenfeld (UM) def. #33 Alex Lacroix (UF) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
3. Carl Sundberg (UM) def. Antoine Benneteau (UF) 6-7, 6-4, 6-1
4. Joey Burkhardt (UF) def. Keith Crowley (UM) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
5. Christian Blocker (UM) def. Johnny Hamui (UF) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2
6. Jeff Dadamo (UF) def. Ignacio Taboada (UM) 7-6, 6-4

Order of finish: 6, 4, 2, 5, 1, 3

1. #16 Benneteau/Burkhardt (UF) vs. #38 Vallverdu/Rosenfeld (UM) 3-6, unfinished
2. Dadamo/Hamui (UF) def. Sundberg/Crowley (UM) 8-5
3. Cueto/ Lacroix (UF) def. Simon/Taboada (UM) 8-1

Order of finish: 3, 2