It’s fair to say head coach Byran Shelton has Florida Gators men’s tennis rolling.
Though Florida was defeated in the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, the Gators did complete their best overall season in more than a decade, dating back to a Final Four elimination in 2005.
Florida — after running through Vanderbilt (4-0), Texas A&M (4-0) and Georgia (4-2) to win the 2016 SEC Tournament in April — swept its first three NCAA Tournament opponents with 4-0 victories over North Florida, South Florida and SMU over the last week.
Up against the No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers in Elite Eight action, a still-growing No. 9 UF team saw itself swept out of the tourney with a 4-0 defeat.
The Gators’ 21-7 record marks its best since 2010 (21-5), while its SEC Tournament crown marked the fifth in school history and first since 2011. Reaching quarterfinals was the furthest Florida’s gotten in the NCAA Tournament since that 24-6 season in 2005.
Shelton will help 2017 is more of the same for the Gators, which will return seven of nine players with three new ones joining the program. Seniors Diego Hidalgo and Gordon Watson see their team careers end but will link up in doubles action next week. Hidalgo and two other Florida players will also participate in singles action.