Top Florida Tennis Player Transferring To Tennessee

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    Photo via Florida Athletics

    Florida tennis star Blaise Bicknell is tranferring to SEC rival Tennessee, the Vols’ tennis program announced Monday.

    Bicknell went 32-0 last season as a sophomore at Florida. The 2020-21 Second Team All-SEC right hander won all 30 singles matches last season and both of his doubles matchups.

    “I think it’s safe to say that everyone affiliated with our team is really excited to welcome Blaise to Vol Nation,” Tennessee coach Chris Woodruff said in a release. “Blaise is a difference-maker and unequivocally helps our team immensely. He has the potential to be a next-level player, while at the same time leave an indelible impression on our storied program. We’re thrilled to have him in Knoxville.”

    Bicknell is a Jamaica native who played his prep tennis at Laurel Springs High School in Miami. Bicknell played in two tournament matches earlier this fall, winning both. The star will join the Vols at the start of the spring semester before the official season begins.

    The 6-foot-2 transfer is at the start of his junior year in school but still has three years of eligibility due to NCAA COVID-19 relief.

    As a freshman, Bicknell earned a 19-6 singles record and 5-2 doubles record.

    Bicknell is the nation’s 33rd best singles player according to ITA. The Jamaica native is the Vols’ fourth player rated in the top 36 of the preseason rankings.

    Adam Walton is the nation’s No. 5 player, Johannus Monday is the No. 6 player and Martim Prata is the No. 29 player.

    Bicknell’s transfer intensifies the already fierce Tennessee/Florida tennis rivalry. Florida beat Tennessee in the 2020-21 regular season on its way to an SEC regular season championship. The Vols got revenge in Fayetteville two months later as Tennessee beat Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship.

    The Vols would follow up the conference title with their deepest ever NCAA Tournament run, falling to Baylor in the national semifinal.

    Florida would bounce back from its loss in the SEC Tournament Championship by defeating Baylor in the National Championship.

    Tennessee and Woodruff are 2-3 against Florida since the UT alum took over the Vols’ program at the start of the 2017-18 season.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.