The duo of Stephane Piro and Bob van Overbeek used the momentum from a tight first-round win on Thursday to win another match on Friday, beating Alabama’s Jarryd Botha and David Vieyra in straight sets, advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Doubles Championships. With a spot in the final eight, Piro and van Overbeek earned All-America honors, the first for either player.
“The feeling when Steph put that last ball in on match point was just a huge rush of emotions,” said van Overbeek after the match. “I couldn’t believe it. Last year I had an opportunity to be an All-American and I let it slip by. Being an All-American has always been my goal since I came to school, so to finally get it in my last college tournament is something that’s seriously special. I’m definitely never going to forget it and it was awesome to do it in doubles and get to share it with someone, especially someone like Steph. I can’t even describe how awesome it feels.”
“Before I came to Florida I had no idea what it meant to be an All-American,” said Piro. “Now, after a year, everyone’s talked to me about being an All-American and I’m very excited to have earned that honor.”
After a tight first set which the Gators won in a tiebreak 7-6 (3), the duo pulled out the victory with a 7-5 win in the second set.
“The team we played today, we lost to in the regular season at Alabama,” said Piro. “It was indoors and they beat us 8-4. We knew that we would have to play really good to beat them. Bob served really well and I was pretty good at the net. We returned pretty well. It was really tight.”
For both Piro and van Overbeek, the win meant something extra as they earned a spot in the final eight and were named All-Americans.
“For Bob and I, we knew that we could play pretty good together,” said Piro. “Bob has always wanted to be an All-American, and he’s a senior and hasn’t been an All-American yet here at Florida. So I was pretty excited about that. To get this done, it’s pretty good for me and I’m sure for Bob too because I know it means a lot to him.”
“We came out today and we knew what the match meant,” van Overbeek said. “We played as solid as we could and I’m happy we got the job done. I can’t be happier to play in my last tournament and finally get over that hump and get the All-American. I’m definitely glad how I’m ending my college tennis career.”
In the quarterfinals on Saturday, the Florida pair will face the winner between Mississippi State’s Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp and Virginia’s Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger.
“We’ll either play a Mississippi State team who we played earlier in the year and we lost a close one to,” said van Overbeek. “Either them or a Virginia team that’s seeded fourth in the country. We went to watch a little bit of their match and got a little bit of a game plan but we don’t know yet who we’ll play. We’ll just go out excited to play and have fun and hopefully try to get an upset.”
To follow along during tomorrow’s match, visit the Championship Central page on the Illinois athletics website, which includes links to live scoring and live video of the matches.