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Men’s tennis defeats Baylor to claim first national championship

Florida wins first national title in first title appearance
Blaise Bicknell of Florida State University reacts during his singles match against the...
Blaise Bicknell of Florida State University reacts during his singles match against the University of Texas at Austin at the 2021 NCAA D1 Tennis Championships on Friday, May 21, 2021 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida. (Manuela Davies/USTA)(Manuela Davies | Manuela Davies/USTA)
Published: May. 23, 2021 at 1:51 AM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 1:52 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Florida Men’s Tennis team made history late Saturday night, when they took down Baylor in the NCAA Men’s National Championship to collect their first title as a program.

In their first appearance at a national championship, the Gators lost the doubles point to the Bears to trail 1-0. But despite the early hole, the orange and blue knew the singles matches is where they’d ultimately gotten the better of their opponents this season.

Sam Riffice in the number 2 singles position, and Andy Andrade at number 3 each won their opening set 7-6 before finishing off their opponents in the second set to push Florida ahead 2-1.

Not long after that, Josh Goodger claimed the third consecutive point for Florida after taking down the number 6 singles match in straight sets.

And as Hollywood as it sounds, Ben Shelton, son of Head Coach Brian Shelton, clinched the match for Florida by defeating his opponent in a three set thriller, 3-6, 6-1,6-2.

Each season under Shelton, the Gators took another step closer to getting to this moment, and finally realizing it was just a matter of time.

Florida will now stay in Orlando to begin play in the NCAA Individual Championships.

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