Gator Chomp for Day 1 Recap
(C) Molly Shapiro 2015

By: Steve Pratt

USTA Tennis On Campus players are as passionate about tennis as Southeastern Conference fans are about their football.

So while the unbeaten University of Florida football team prepares to improve its unbeaten 5-0 record tomorrow night against 4-1 Missouri in an SEC grudge match on the gridiron, the Tennis On Campus Gators are spending the weekend thinking about a three-peat at the sixth annual USTA TOC Fall Invitational taking place at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The Gators opened with two wins in pool play and won their Round of 16 match in the Gold Bracket match with a 24-16 victory over Ohio State to advance to Saturday’s winner’s bracket quarterfinals.

That means three more wins for a three-peat for the Gators. “There is pressure on us this weekend, but pressure is good,” said Florida captain Joseph Rudy, whose team will face Boston College in the quarterfinals. “We’ve been able to win some close matches here the past two years. We were down two games going into the final mixed doubles match against Georgia Tech last year and pulled it out.”

Florida lost to North Carolina, 28-26, in the Tennis On Campus National Championship quarterfinals last April and fell to UC-Berkeley in the 2014 final two school years ago.

“I think juggling the lineup is key,” Rudy said. “We have such a large squad. Everything just seemed to come together for us last year.”

Florida senior women’s player Natalie Boruk said there is a target on each of the Gators’ backs. “Everyone wants to knock off the defending champs,” she said. “We don’t come here thinking we’re the best team and we’re going to win.”

Rudy said winning here and earning the automatic bid for the national championships to be played April 14-16 in Cary, N.C., was the reason play was so intense on Friday, but that all the schools had a great time competing. “Winning here and getting the extra bid into Nationals is huge for us,” he said. “Because it gets another Florida team into Nationals and there are so many good schools from our section. We’re pumped to come in here and secure our automatic bid.”

Also advancing to the quarterfinals on Saturday was the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina, Cornell, Virginia Tech, Central Florida and William and Mary.

Besides Florida and Georgia, other SEC schools competing this weekend include: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Louisiana State, Alabama and Auburn.

For photos of the action & around the grounds click here.

Virginia Tech for Web Georgia Women for Web

Friday’s Results

Gold Bracket Results
Note: Winners advance on to the Gold Bracket quarterfinals Saturday

Georgia 30, Pittsburgh 7
North Carolina 23, Auburn 21
Cornell 28, North Carolina State
Virginia Tech 30, Alabama 14
Boston College 30, Pennsylvania 13
Florida 24, Ohio State 16
Central Florida 24, Georgia Tech 15
William and Mary 23, Northwestern 22

Silver Bracket
Washington-St. Louis 27, Kennesaw State 18
College of Charleston 26, Connecticut 22
Kentucky 25, Vanderbilt 20
Duke 30, Ohio University 12

Bronze Bracket
Clemson 26, Ferris State 20
Louisiana State 25, Toledo 23
Cincinnati 28, Wisconsin 14
Georgia College 29, Tennessee 18

Copper Bracket
Harvard 30, Elon 13
Johns Hopkins 30, Coastal Carolina 16
Colorado School of Mines 25, Mercer 24
Furman 26, Wake Forest 16

Fun Bracket
Tennessee-Chattanooga 24, Armstrong State 14
Villanova 27, New Hampshire 24
James Madison 27, Dayton 7
Georgia Southern 25, Old Dominion 9

Pool Play
Bold team advances to Gold Bracket (winner’s bracket)
Pool 1
Florida 20, Georgia College 3
Florida 20, Wake Forest 3
Georgia College 13, Wake Forest 12

Pool 2
North Carolina 20, Villanova 7
North Carolina 19, Vanderbilt 10
Vanderbilt 20, Villanova 5

Pool 3
Georgia 20, Ferris State 2
Georgia 20, Elon 3
Ferris State 18, Elon 14

Pool 4
Wisconsin 20, Georgia Southern 11
Virginia Tech 20, Wisconsin 4
Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Southern 6

Pool 5 
Pittsburgh 17, Furman 13
Pittsburgh 17, Connecticut 16
Connecticut 17, Furman 11

Pool 6 
Cornell 17, Tennessee-Chattanooga 8
Cornell 20, Cincinnati 9
Cincinnati 19, Tennessee-Chattanooga 8

Pool 7 
Boston College 20, Armstrong State 1
Boston College 20, Duke 8
Duke 20, Armstrong State 2

Pool 8 
Northwestern 20, Old Dominion 1
Northwestern 20, Tennessee-Knoxville 5
Tennessee-Knoxville 20, Old Dominion 5

Pool 9 
Auburn 14, Washington-St. Louis 13
Auburn 20, Dayton 1
Washington-St. Louis 14, Dayton 10

Pool 10
Louisiana State 15, Harvard 14
Ohio State 16, Harvard 8
Ohio State 17, Louisiana State 12

Pool 11 
Georgia Tech 18, Ohio 9
Georgia Tech 18, James Madison 7
Ohio University 20, James Madison 8
Pool 12
Central Florida 20, New Hampshire 5
Central Florida 19, Kentucky 9
Kentucky 20, New Hampshire 7

Pool 13
North Carolina State 20, Colorado School of Mines 4
North Carolina State 18, Toledo 9
Toledo 18, Colorado School of Mines 12

Pool 14
William and Mary 17, Mercer 14
William and Mary 15, College of Charleston 10
College of Charleston 19, Mercer 10

Pool 15
Alabama 19, Johns Hopkins 10
Alabama 18, Clemson 14
Clemson 18, Johns Hopkins 12
Pool 16
Pennsylvania 20, Coastal Carolina 11
Pennsylvania 16, Kennesaw State 14
Kennesaw State 14, Coastal Carolina 10

Tennis on Campus Fall Invitational Past Champions:
2014 — University of Florida
2013 — University of Florida
2012 — Duke University
2011 — University of Virginia
2010 — University of Alabama