Men’s tennis swept, 4-0, by Florida in NCAA semifinal

21 May By
College World Series
The No. 4 Texas men's tennis team came to an abrupt end Friday when the Longhorns were swept, 4-0, by Florida in the semifinal of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship (photo courtesy of NCAA.com).

ORLANDO, Fla. ā€” The 2020-21 season drew to a close for the Texas men's tennis team Friday night when the No. 4 Longhorns were swept, 4-0, by No. 2 Florida in the semifinal of the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship at the USTA National Campus.

Florida moves on to face Baylor Saturday in the national championship match; Texas ends its year with a record of 24-6.

The Gators dominated from the start, taking both matches of doubles play that were completed. Florida tallied its first doubles victory by a score of 6-2 behind the performances of Brian Berdusco and Will Grant against UT's Micah Braswell and Payton Holden. The duo of Sam Riffice and Ben Shelton then guided Florida to a 6-4 win over the Texas tandem of Chih Chi Huang and Cleeve Harper, as the Gators clinched the critical doubles point.

In singles action, it was the same story, with Florida coming up victorious in all three of the individual duels that were completed. Shelton grabbed the Gators' second point of the evening, rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 win against Huang. Blaise Bicknell grabbed the third point for Florida in a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Harper. Bicknell's key to victory was his high percentage on first serve points won; he went 17-for-20.

Bicknell's win shifted the focus to the contest between Florida's Andy Andrade and Texas' Siem Woldeab, who fought to keep the Horns' season alive before falling, 6-3, 7-5, to give the Gators the win. The evenly-matched second set was decided on a bad serve, as Woldeab sent his serve straight into the net, giving Andrade the 7-5 win in the second set. While the Gators rejoiced, Woldeab buried his head in his hands.

As Andrade claimed the victory, three singles matches were left unfinished; Florida was leading in all three at the time of completion.

The match marked the first time Texas was held scoreless in a contest since the Horns' 4-0 defeat at the hands of Baylor in the Big 12 Championship.

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley