Jacksonville Sports Day

TENNIS NOTES: Flagler Men Open Season at No. 7; Gators Fall to Texas

Luca Bolla/Photo Courtesy Flagler College Athletics

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Flagler College men’s tennis team opens the 2020 season ranked No. 7 according to the preseason Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Division II national team rankings, which were released Wednesday afternoon.

Flagler posted a 16-8 overall record last year and went 7-2 in the Peach Belt Conference, which was good for a second place finish. The Saints advanced to the semifinal round of the conference tournament and qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament.

There are four PBC teams ranked in the top 25, along with Flagler. Columbus State University, the national runners-up, are ranked No. 2. Lander University opens at No. 6 while the University of North Georgia checks in at No. 18.

Barry University, the defending national champions, received all eight first place votes and is ranked No. 1. Following Columbus State are the University of West Florida (No. 3), Wingate University (No. 4), and Saint Leo University (No. 5).

In the Southeast Region ranking, Flagler opens at No. 4. Columbus State, Wingate, and Lander occupy the first three spots.

Flagler opens the season with a pair of exhibition matches, including Jan. 26 against ASA College of Miami at the Flagler Tennis Center at 2 p.m. The Saints’ home opener is Feb. 6 against Rollins College at 3 p.m.

No. 2 Longhorns Best Gators in 5-2 Thriller

The matchup between the No. 1 Florida men’s tennis team and No. 2 Texas Longhorns certainly lived up to the hype, drawing one of the largest crowds in men’s tennis history with over 700 fans in attendance at Linder Stadium, though, the Gators would come up short down the stretch to suffer its first loss of the season, 5-2, on Wednesday night.

The loss moves Florida to 2-1 on the year, while the win serves as Texas’ first of the year to kick off the dual season for the Longhorns.

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