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.

Singles

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

Doubles

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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