Duarte Vale’s stock just keeps rising.
The Gators’ junior star had a 15-1 record in singles last spring. He won the singles and doubles titles in the Seahawk Invite two weeks ago. And now he has another title to add to his name.
Vale took home the championship in the black singles draw at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Georgia. He defeated No. 82 Juan Pablo Grassi from UCF in a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win.
Vale is off to a 7-0 record in singles this year with wins over two ranked opponents, Grassi and Wake Forest’s No. 15 Bar Botzer.
Vale’s victory was a bright spot in what was just an average weekend for the men’s team. Freshman Blaise Bicknell, juniors No. 31 Andy Andrade and No. 68 Josh Goodger and sophomore No. 70 Lukas Greif all picked up wins for UF, but all came in the consolation bracket.
The team had a below-average performance in doubles. No. 4 senior Johannes Ingildsen and junior Brian Berdusco fell in the third-place matchup in the red doubles draw 6-1. Greif and Goodger made their way to the black doubles consolation finals before falling, 6-3.
Florida finished the tournament, which included over 15 nationally ranked teams, at 18-15.
“Hats off to Duarte Vale for winning his second-consecutive singles title,” coach Bryan Shelton said in a release. “Duarte won convincingly all weekend with a single-minded focus and great intensity.”
UF’s women’s tennis team found success on Sunday with three singles victories, but like the men’s team, all of the wins came in the consolation bracket.
No. 91 junior Victoria Emma led the team with three singles wins to finish the weekend with a 3-1 record. No. 23 junior McCartney Kessler and No. 85 sophomore Marlee Zein, who lost both their matches on Friday, bounced back to finish with a 2-2 record. In doubles, No. 6 Emma and Kessler lost in the second round 7-5.
The women’s tournament included nine teams that were ranked in the top 25 at last season’s end. The Gators finished with a record of 10-7.
“All three players came out with a great attitude and fight,” assistant coach Lauren Embree said in a release.
Follow Noah Ram on Twitter @noah_ram1. Contact him at [email protected].