Wednesday May 19, 2010Men's Tennis Takes Home ITA Regional Awards
The sixth-ranked Florida menís tennis team has brought home three Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional awards in the Division I, Southeast Region category, the ITA has announced.
Head coach Andy Jackson has been named the regionís Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year for Division I, while freshman Sekou Bangoura Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) is the Southeastís ITA Rookie Player of the Year and junior Alexandre Lacroix (Paris, France) has been named the regionís ITA Player to Watch.
In his ninth season as the head coach of the Gators, Jackson has led UF to a 21-4 (.840) record and into the NCAA Round of 16 for the eighth time. Florida has reached the 21-win mark three times under Jackson after accomplishing that feat just six times in the previous 62 years. Jackson is 173-63 (.765) all-time as the Florida head coach.
Bangoura leads the Gators this spring with 20 singles dual match wins, posting a 20-3 (.870) mark in dual singles. He is also part of the 68th-ranked doubles pair in the nation, alongside sophomore Joey Burkhardt (St. Augustine, Fla.).
Lacroix has soared into the top 10 in both singles and doubles this season, reaching as high as fourth nationally in singles (currently seventh) and his current No. 8 doubles ranking with Antoine Benneteau (Boulogne-Billancourt, France). Lacroix has posted a 33-9 overall record in 2009-10, including 22-8 against ranked opponents. He and Benneteau are just the second pair in UF history to reach 30 doubles wins in a season as a pair, boasting a 31-6 record.
The ITA Player to Watch Award goes to a player who has an outstanding season and is expected to perform at a high level the rest of his career. This awardís criteria also include a playerís sportsmanship and character.
As regional winners, each of the individuals honored is eligible for the national award in their respective category, which the ITA will announce on May 25. The ITA Southeast Region is one of 12 Division I regions nationally and consists of 19 schools throughout Florida and Georgia.
The Florida Gators are next in action in Athens, Ga., on Friday, May 21, at 6 p.m. in the NCAA Round of 16, when they will face host Georgia with a trip to the national quarterfinals on the line.
Results and updates, including a live interactive blog during the match, can be found on www.GatorZone.com.