Thursday May 20, 2010Men's Tennis Prepares for NCAA Round of 16
The sixth-seeded Florida menís tennis team (21-4) will resume NCAA Tournament action Friday at 6 p.m., when they will take on finals host 11th-seeded Georgia (19-7) in a Round of 16 showdown at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
UF is looking for its third win of the season over the Bulldogs after defeating them in the ITA Indoor Championships in February and in Gainesville during the regular season in April. This marks the first time Florida and Georgia have met three times in a season.
The Gators are coming off the NCAA Tournamentís opening weekend, in which they hosted and swept South Carolina State and Auburn in the first and second rounds, respectively. The second-round win over Auburn was Floridaís third against the Tigers this spring.
Florida holds a 37-19 record all-time in NCAA Tournament action and is appearing in the tournament for the 20th consecutive season, dating back to 1991.
Head coach Andy Jackson has led his teams to the Round of 16 in 18 of the past 20 seasons, taking the Gators there in eight of the past nine seasons after leading Mississippi State at least that far in 10 of the previous 11 years.
Florida is led by All-American and All-SEC performers Alexandre Lacroix (Paris, France) and Antoine Benneteau (Boulogne-Billancourt, France). Lacroix is ranked seventh nationally in singles, and the duo sits at No. 8 in the doubles rankings. Lacroix is 33-9 overall and 18-5 in dual singles at the No. 1 position, while Benneteau and Lacroix are 31-6 overall and 19-5 in dual doubles, also at the first position.
The Gators benefit from another nationally ranked doubles pair in Sekou Bangoura Jr. (Bradenton, Fla.) and Joey Burkhardt (St. Augustine, Fla.), who currently sit at No. 68 but have reached the top 40 this season. Additionally, Florida has a trio of newcomers in Bangoura, Bob Van Overbeek (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Nassim Slilam (Paris, France) who have combined for a 53-11 singles record in dual match play.
Van Overbeek and Daniel Cash (Oslo, Norway) come into the weekendís action with seven consecutive wins at the No. 3 doubles position for Florida.
If Florida advances past Georgia, the Gators would face either Oklahoma (18-7) or No. 3-seed Texas (27-2) on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Stay up to date with all the results, as well as a live blog of all matches during Floridaís run at the NCAA Tournament, on www.GatorZone.com.