The University of Florida may have been making their first trip to the USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center at Hilton Head Island, but they played like seasoned pros.
Florida defeated the University of Virginia in the finals on Sunday, by a score of 23-18.
Both teams now qualify for the 2014 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship in Surprise, Ariz., April 10-12, 2014.
Adam Decker, the captain of the Florida team said they knew what to expect.
“This is our first time here but we’ve been to Nationals and we are used to playing in these high-pressure matches,” Florida's Decker stated. “In this format every game counts and we knew Virginia was going to be very tough to beat.”
With Florida holding a 13-11 lead in the finals, Decker beat Aaron Paul, 6-1, for the 19-12 lead heading into the final mixed doubles match won by Wingo and Roseblum of Virginia over Decker and Cruz, 6-3. That meant overtime with Florida leading 22-18, but Decker and Cruz were steady and ready and took the next game to win the match.
For the Cavaliers, it was yet another runner up finish at this event..
“It seems like we know what it takes to get to the final here,” Virginia captain Derek Gale, who along with doubles player Marina Hehenwarter has been on all three Fall Invitational finalist teams. “It’s figuring out how to win it all that has proved a little tougher. It really was a great weekend. We’re excited to get the Nationals bid out of the way.”
Auburn score the tournament's Sportsmanship Award.
To view all the scores and draws from the event, go to:
Past USTA Tennis On Campus Fall Invitational Champions
2010 – University of Alabama
2011– University of Virginia
2012 – Duke University
2013 – Florida University
Tennis on Campus is all about giving upwards of 35,000 college students around the country to play intramural coed club play tennis. The program is in place at about 600 colleges and universities.