Men's Tennis Bests No. 9 Florida on Senior Day
BATON ROUGE -- The 27th-ranked LSU men's tennis team (13-9, 4-6 SEC) pulled off their biggest upset since 2008, Sunday, claiming a 4-2 thriller over the No. 9 Florida Gators on Senior Day at W.T. 'Dub' Robinson Stadium.
Senior Tom Knights clinched the match for the Tigers with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Florida's Billy Federhofer.
"It meant a lot to me that I was able to get the clinch in my last match at the Dub," Knights said. "It was a great feeling to know the guys were all waiting for me when I finished."
All three seniors, Knights, Neal Skupski and David Roberts, played a huge role in the Tigers' upset.
In doubles, Skupski partnered with Chris Simpson to pull off a huge 8-2 upset over the 10th-ranked Gator duo of Federhofer and Nassim Slilam that helped give the Tigers the momentum they needed to eventually capture the doubles point and a quick 1-0 lead over Florida.
In singles, both 55th-ranked Olivier Borsos and No. 73 Skupski knocked off ranked opponents, No. 41 Bob van Overbeek and No. 49 Frank Carleton, respectively, to increase the Tigers' lead to 3-0.
On court three, Simpson fell in straight sets to Spencer Newman, allowing Florida to get on the board.
Up 3-1, Stefan Szacinski battled hard, but eventually met defeat at the hands of Florent Diep, 7-6, 2-6, 6-0, pulling Florida within one.
With the match on the line, the Tigers called upon underdog, Roberts, to step up to the plate and take on UF's Michael Alford in what would be only Roberts' fourth dual match of the season.
After dropping the first set, Roberts fought back from a 5-2 deficit to win the second set 7-6 (3) and keep the Tigers' hopes alive.
By sending his match into a third set, Roberts gave Knights the time and comfort he needed to finish off Federhofer, and ultimately clinch the match in the Tigers' favor.
After Knights clinched, it was decided by both teams to suspend Roberts' match, finalizing the overall score at 4-2 and solidifying the biggest win for the Tigers since their 4-3 victory over then-No. 9 Florida in 2008.
"Senior Day in itself has a lot to it," head coach Jeff Brown said. "You are celebrating careers of some great players. Dave has put so much into the team and has never been rewarded with the playing time, but was still able to step in today and win his match if need be. For Tom to clinch on Senior Day was huge and a great confidence booster, and Neal played a big role in the win as well. It was a great team effort and makes it so special to beat a team that is so talented and comes in well prepared. It was a hard-earned win for our team, and I am very proud of the guys."
With this match, LSU will conclude home play and finish with a 10-3 record at W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium.
The Tigers will now turn their sights to their final match of the regular season versus the 41st-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The match is set to begin at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.
Be sure to follow LSU on Twitter at @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis for the latest information on the Tigers.
Florida vs LSU
Apr 08, 2012 at Baton Rouge, La.
W.T. Dub Robinson Stadium
#27 LSU 4, #9 Florida 2
1. #55 Olivier Borsos (LSU) def. #41 Bob van Overbeek (UF) 6-3, 6-3
2. #73 Neal Skupski (LSU) def. #49 Frank Carleton (UF) 6-3, 7-5
3. Spencer Newman (UF) def. #98 Chris Simpson (LSU) 6-3, 7-5
4. Tom Knights (LSU) def. Billy Federhofer (UF) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
5. Florent Diep (UF) def. Stefan Szacinski (LSU) 7-6 (7-0), 2-6, 6-0
6. David Roberts (LSU) vs. Michael Alford (UF) 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 2-0, unfinished
1. Neal Skupski/Chris Simpson (LSU) def. #10 Nassim Slillam/Billy Federhofer (UF) 8-2 2. Bob van Overbeek/Spencer Newman (UF) def. Olivier Borsos/Roger Anderson (LSU) 8-6
3. Tom Knights/Stefan Szacinski (LSU) def. Frank Carleton/Andrew Butz (UF) 8-4
Florida 13-8; National ranking #9
LSU 13-9; National ranking #27
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,2,3,5,4,6)