With Texas males’s tennis’ aptitude for the dramatic, head coach Bruce Berque awakened Friday believing his group may do the unlikely and knock off Florida, the No. 1-ranked group within the nation. To not point out that his group had handed the Gators certainly one of their two losses on the season, and beat them within the Ultimate 4 final day out in 2019.
It appeared that No. 4 Texas had exhausted all of its magic this season, because the Longhorns fell 4-0 to No. 1 Florida within the NCAA Championships Ultimate 4. Texas’ semifinal loss introduced its large season of highs and lows — however largely highs — to an in depth on a wet Friday evening on the USTA Campus in Orlando, Florida.
Berque knew his group had been underdogs, however nonetheless his coronary heart led him to consider that an upset was on the playing cards.
“I awakened this morning considering we had an opportunity to win, however after all, I knew that it was going to be tremendous robust,” Berque stated. “However I’d be idiotic to assume that this group didn’t have an opportunity in opposition to anybody they’ve performed. So I positively thought we had an opportunity. I hoped there was a little bit extra magic. However we’ll have to attend for subsequent 12 months’s group to see the following model of magic that we will produce.”
Though Texas had run out of magic in opposition to Florida, Berque thinks that he’ll look again on the season fairly fondly, and that the quite a few comebacks and large wins his group had all season will reside lengthy in his reminiscence.
“I’m positively going to take pleasure in wanting again at numerous the recollections we’ve had. And it’s very tough to get to the spherical of 16 of the NCAA match, a lot much less the quarters or the Ultimate 4,” Berque stated. “Only a few individuals, coaches and gamers, can lay declare to that. So I believe these guys must be tremendous pleased with what they did, particularly with such relative inexperience on the group. I do know they’re going to be disenchanted now, however once they look again, they need to all be very proud.”
Texas sophomore Eliot Spizzirri was understandably very dejected after the loss however nonetheless is pleased with the way in which his group outperformed the expectations positioned on them earlier than the season.
“We went on the market, and we went for it, it simply didn’t go our manner. Florida was too good in the present day,” Spizzirri stated. “At the beginning of the season there have been lots of people predicting that we had been going to complete 4th within the convention; lots of people didn’t assume we had been going to have the season that we had. So I’m simply actually pleased.”
Texas made an honest begin to doubles, particularly at No. 1, however Florida pulled away at No. 2 and three to take the doubles level. At that time, the immense high quality the Florida lineup possessed was obvious.
Dropping the doubles level nearly put the match out of attain for Texas, as they wanted 4 wins in opposition to a Florida singles lineup that featured the No. 4, 6, 18 and 51-ranked gamers. The No. 6 participant for the Gators is even ranked No. 79.
Florida picked up the three wins it wanted to advance to the ultimate, all in straight units at No. 5, 4 and three.
Had Texas caught round in any of these matches, they might have put some factors on the board. Earlier than Florida clinched, Texas freshman Micah Braswell had made an enormous comeback to win his first set and was successful his second at No. 2. Sophomore Evin McDonald was on his option to upsetting Florida senior, No. 79 Josh Goodger, in his third set, and Eliot Spizzirri was about to take his match to a 3rd set.
With Texas’ 2021 group season over, just a few Longhorns will participate within the NCAA Particular person Championships beginning Sunday. No. 23 Spizzirri will play No. 8 Johannus of Tennessee on Monday, and No. 38 Braswell will tackle No. 9 Gabriel Decamps of UCF. No. 11-ranked doubles pairing Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab will face No. 24-ranked pairing Rithvik Bollipalli and Jacob Wojcik from USF.