Friday was a tale of two outcomes for University of Florida sports teams, with soccer, men’s and women’s tennis and volleyball all in action across the country. The most important game of the day was No. 8 Florida Gators soccer (15-5-2, 8-1-2 SEC) taking on No. 15 South Carolina Gamecocks (17-3-1, 7-3-1 SEC) in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament in Orange Beach, AL.
After winning the regular season and defeating the Tennessee Volunteers in the first round, the Gators fell 1-0 to the Gamecocks. Ironically enough, Florida defeated South Carolina 3-0 one week ago in Gainesville, FL, to clinch the SEC regular season title. The Gamecocks scored their lone deciding goal off of a penalty kick at 10:36 in the first half, the first to be successfully scored against the Gators all season.
Also in action were players from the school’s tennis teams. Freshman Allie Will dropped a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 decision to Pichittra Thongbach of the Boise State Broncos in the round of 16 at the ITA National Indoor Tennis Championships. Considered the second leg of the collegiate Grand Slam, Will was the lone Florida female to earn a spot in the event and now holds a 20-3 singles record and 13-3 doubles mark on the season. The men’s doubles team of junior Alexandre Lacroix and redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau, who were previously undefeated, lost an ITA quarterfinal match 8-6 to Tennessee’s Boris Koncic and Rhyne Williams. Lacroix, who was also competing in singles consolation action, won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Patricio Alvarado of the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
Last but certainly not least on the evening was No. 9/11 Gators volleyball (19-3, 13-2 SEC), who earned their seventh consecutive sweep of a league opponent by taking down the Georgia Bulldogs (14-11, 5-9 SEC) 25-16, 25-20, 25-14. Four Florida players hit better than .500 and sophomore hitters Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy combined for 23 kills on the night in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Volleyball will be back in action on Sunday against the Auburn Tigers in Gainesville at 1:30 p.m. The match will air live on Sun Sports.