Tennis Tigers Can't Get Past Gators

Gainesville, Fla.--Sixth-ranked Florida was too strong for the Auburn Tigers, who ended their 2009-2010 team season with a loss to the Gators in the round of 32 in the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament on Sunday.

Florida, 21-4, won the doubles point to build early momentum and closed out the match with three singles victories for a 4-0 decision on their home court in the finals of the Gainesville regional.

The Tigers, who dropped to 12-13 for the season, won their opening round NCAA match 4-0 vs. Troy on Saturday.

Tim Puetz, who is ranked 16th nationally in singles, will compete in the individual competition at the NCAA Tournament May 26-31 in Athens, Ga. He will also play in doubles with Alex Stamchev. The pair is ranked 10th nationally.

Puetz was up a set on No. 7 ranked Alexandre Lacroix when play was stopped with the Gators clinching the match.

"Florida got off to a good start with solid doubles play," Auburn coach Eric Shore said. "We knew we had a good opportunity to do well in singles and we looked good in a handful of matches. We just couldn't capitalize where we needed to today.

"We had our battles this year, but this team has a lot of potential next year," Shore added. "They are ready to take that next step and will continue to be better down the line. There is a lot of promise on this team and we are excited for that." Shore's lineup features four freshmen, one sophomore and one junior.


1. No. 16 Tim Puetz (Auburn) vs. No. 7 Alexandre Lacroix (Florida); 7-5, 5-5 unfinished

2. Tim Hewitt (Auburn) vs. No. 110 Joey Burkhardt (Florida); 6-3, 2-6 unfinished

3. Antoine Benneteau (Florida) def. No. 105 Alex Stamchev (Auburn) 6-3, 6-2

4. Lucas Lopasso (Auburn) vs. Bob Van Overbeek (Florida); 6-3, 3-6, 3-2 unfinished

5. Sekou Bangoura Jr. (Florida) def. Oliver Strecker (Auburn); 6-2, 6-1

6. Nassim Slilam (Florida) def. Andreas Mies (Auburn); 6-4, 6-3


1. No. 8 Antoine Benneteau/Alex Lacroix (Florida) def. No. 10 Tim Puetz/Alex Stamchev (Auburn); 8-3

2. Sekou Bangoura Jr./Joey Burkhardt (Florida) def. Tim Hewitt/Lucas Lopasso (Auburn); 8-3

3. Dan Cash/Bob Van Overbeek (Florida) vs. Andreas Mies/Oliver Strecker (Auburn); 7-4 unfinished

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