It is the beginning of a new week and today we have some great news from around the Gator Nation as most of Florida sports dominated over the weekend in their respective matches. Only the men’s basketball team failed to reel in a win, dropping its road game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 72-69.
But the bad news ends there.
Friday night, the top-ranked gymnastics team won its home opener and the second match of the spring season in as many tries, nudging the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs in the O’Connell Center, 197.25–196.075. Junior standout Trinity Thomas won two event titles, using a 9.90 score to nab her second consecutive vault title of the year, then upped her season-high to 9.95 for the season’s first uneven bars win. Next week, the Gators travel to No. 6 Arkansas with a start time schedule for 8 p.m. EST.
While the men’s basketball team fell short on Saturday, the men’s tennis team got off to a hot start to its season at home against the Florida Atlantic Owls, sweeping the match with a 7-0 final score. It was the first dual match action since March 8, 2020, at the Texas A&M Aggies after the coronavirus pandemic led to the cancelation of the remainder of the 2020 season.
Then on Sunday, men’s tennis continued its dominance over the South Florida Bulls with a 6-1 home win. Redshirt-senior Johannes Ingildsen won his 100th career singles match, tying him with Elliot Orkin (2014-17) on the Gators’ all-time career singles wins list at No. 8. Florida will next travel to Austin, Texas, for the ITA Kickoff Weekend this coming Friday, with the first match coming against the Oklahoma State Cowboys with first serve scheduled for 10 a.m. EST.
Finally — and I mean finally — the women’s basketball team snapped their five-game losing streak on Sunday against the Auburn Tigers with an authoritative 68-54 win at home. The win is the first against a Southeastern Conference foe this season as well as the first victory of the 2021 calendar year. Florida’s dynamic duo of Lavender Briggs and Kiki Smith turned things up a notch, combining to score 40 points in the win. The latter tallied 22 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and four assists for the contest; her rebound totals are a career-high.
The Lady Gators will travel to Nashville on Thursday to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores with tip off scheduled for 1 p.m. EST for the mid-week matchup.
Around the Swamp
Indianapolis’ ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ March Madness will go on — because for NCAA, it has to: Against a difficult financial backdrop, in the midst of a global pandemic, the NCAA is going to try something unprecedented.
CBS Sports’ final college football rankings has Florida just outside top 10: The final tallies are in from the various sports media outlets across the nation, with publications giving their final takes on the 2020 college football season.
How does Florida football’s recruiting stack up these past two decades?: Once upon a time, the Florida Gators football program was among the best in the nation when it came to recruiting prep talent.
ESPN looks at Florida’s potential for success in 2021 based on recruiting class: Florida Gators football finished the 2020 season on a sour note, but for a season marred by the coronavirus pandemic, there was still much to celebrate from this past fall’s campaign.
Former Gators linebacker Ventrell Miller could provide badly needed depth for the Detroit Lions: Odds are, if he wants to be a pro, he’ll find a home as one of the 256 drafted players or as an undrafted free agent.
A look at The Athletic’s breakdown of the SEC, from a Florida Gators perspective: Among the mystery and intrigue was the Florida Gators, who were serious contenders for a College Football Playoff spot after its win over their rivals the Georgia Bulldogs.