Gators Men’s Tennis duo falls in NCAA Doubles Championship

The Florida men’s tennis pair of Alexandre Lacroix and Sekou Bangoura Jr. saw their run at the NCAA doubles championship end on Sunday, falling at Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., to the host school’s Bradley Klahn and Ryan Thacher, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4).

“Like yesterday, I felt like it was Alex and Sekou’s best match of the year,” Florida head coach Andy Jackson said. “Our guys played better than yesterday, but the level of the team we played was much better today. We could’ve won. We played extremely well, and Stanford was too good in the end.”

The first set went on serve until Florida broke at 4-4 and consolidated the break to take the set, 6-4. The second set began with four straight service breaks until Stanford held in the fifth game of the set. The Cardinal later broke again for a 5-3 lead and served out the set to force a third.

The third set saw a dozen straight games go on serve to set up the deciding tiebreaker. In contrast to how the set played out, the receiving team scored the first six points of the breaker, going to the changeover knotted at 3-3 before Stanford scored the seventh point on its serve for a 4-3 edge. The Cardinal then took the next two points off Florida’s serve for a 6-3 edge and three match points. Florida saved the first, but Stanford closed out the match on the second, taking the tiebreaker, 7-4.

The loss wraps up the Gators’ 2010-11 campaign, as well as the Florida career of Lacroix, the Gators’ lone senior this season. He ends his impressive four-year run as UF’s career record-holder in doubles victories (104) and overall wins (214) and tied for fourth in singles wins (110). He is one of five players in program history to earn four or more All-American honors (singles and doubles All-American in 2010 and 2011) and led the Gators to the 2011 SEC Tournament championship and was the tournament’s MVP.

Leading career winners among returning players for Florida next season are Bangoura with 55 singles wins and fellow sophomore Bob van Overbeek with 38 doubles victories. Bangoura has the most combined wins with 76.