Kessler earns honor; Fightmaster competes at Regional
— The Florida men’s tennis team had two doubles pairs earn All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Friday with their advancement to the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals.
The first pair of Gators to advance to the quarterfinals was former Calhoun High standout McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale. The duo took on Christian Langmo and Adria Soriano of Miami in the Round of 16 and were in a tight battle from the onset of the match. Midway through the first set Kessler and Vale trailed 4-2 before winning three-straight games to take a 5-4 lead. Shortly after getting the lead it was once again tied and the set headed to a tiebreak. Kessler and Vale to a quick 5-2 lead in the tiebreak before winning the set 7-6. The second set was similar to the first as Kessler and Vale fell behind early only to take the lead and eventually go into yet another tiebreak. In the second set tiebreak, the Gator duo took a 5-3 lead before holding serve two games later and winning the tiebreak 7-4 and the set 7-6. With their advancement to the quarterfinals, the Gator pair each earn their first career All-America honors.
Having earned All-America honors in doubles just one season ago, Alfredo Perez and Johannes Ingildsen knew what it would take to repeat those honors. Having spent most of the season as the No. 1 ranked doubles pair in the country the duo was ready to face off against Ole Miss’ Fabien Fallert and Tim Sandkaulen. Early in the first set Perez and Ingildsen found themselves trailing 2-3 to the pair from Ole Miss. The deficit didn’t last long however as the Gator pair went on to win four straight games to win the first set. With the momentum on their side, Perez and Ingildsen kept it rolling in the second set, on their way to a dominant 6-1 victory. The win advances the duo to the quarterfinals for the second-straight season.
Perez also competed in the singles round of 16 against No. 3 Nuno Borges of Mississippi State.
After dropping the first set 7-6 he jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second but was unable to maintain the lead, falling 7-5 and being eliminated from the singles tournament, Since he advanced to the round of 16 he did earn singles AllAmerica honors for the second consecutive season. — Samford’s and former Calhoun High standout Keyth Fightmaster competed in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Regional Saturday afternoon at the USF Track & Field Stadium.
Fightmaster competed against some of the top athletes in the nation at Saturday’s event.
The competition began at the 2.01-meter level, but Fightmaster was unable to advance to the second level.
This marks the secondstraight year Fightmaster has competed in the NCAA East Regional. Last season, he advanced to the NCAA Championship with his performance at the regional event.
Fightmaster was the last of seven Samford studentathletes to compete at this year’s NCAA East Regional. Seniors Tray Oates (pole vault) and Arsène Guillorel (10,000meter run) both qualified for the NCAA Championships, to be held in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.