Stanford, Calif. – The Florida men’s tennis team saw its season end with a 4-2 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 on Thursday at the Taube Tennis Center at Stanford University.
“I felt like we fought very hard,” head coach Andy Jackson said. “I thought that we got beat by a team that played better than us, a team that’s really good, a team that we knew we and that we’ve played three extremely close matches against. They got the one today, which is a huge prize. It’s something that we feel like we lost to a worthy opponent. I’m very proud of my team, and we’re sad to see the season end, but we feel like we’ve achieved a lot and will be eager to get going in August.”
The Gators finish the 2011 campaign 20-9, capping back-to-back 20-win seasons, an accomplishment the program has reached four times.
UK took the doubles point with wins at courts one and three, both by an 8-5 score. UF’s Billy Federhofer and Nassim Slilam led, 7-4, on court two when the match was abandoned.
The Gators came out firing in singles, taking first sets on four courts. But UK scored the first point, as UK’s Alberto Gonzalez topped Bob van Overbeek on court four. The Gators answered with straight-sets wins at courts one and two as Alexandre Lacroix defeated Eric Quigley and Sekou Bangoura Jr., overcame Brad Cox, respectively.
Kentucky built its lead to 3-2 with a court five win, as Anthony Rossi scored a straight-sets win against Federhofer. On court six, Florida’s Spencer Newman battled back from a 3-0, two-break deficit in the third set against Tom Jomby, tying the match at 3-3. But Jomby broke back at 3-3 and served out the set, 6-4, to clinch for the Wildcats.
Slilam was in the third set of his court two match against Alex Musialek when the match ended.
Lacroix and Bangoura now prepare for the NCAA Individual championships, which open with the singles first round on Wednesday, May 25, followed by the doubles first round on Thursday, May 26. Both players will compete in the singles draw and as a team in the doubles draw.
1 – #19 Cox/Quigley (UK) def. #17 Bangoura/Lacroix (UF) 8-5
2 – Federhofer/Slilam (UF) led Musialek/Rossi (UK) 7-4 (DNF)
3 – *Gonzalez/Jomby (UK) def. Butz/van Overbeek (UF) vs. 8-5
Order of Finish: 1-3
1 – #7 Alexandre Lacroix (UF) def. #6 Eric Quigley (UK) 6-2, 6-4
2 – #89 Nassim Slilam (UF) led #53 Alex Musialek (UK) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (DNF)
3 – #40 Sekou Bangoura Jr. (UF) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-4, 6-2
4 – #90 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. #118 Bob van Overbeek (UF) 6-1, 6-2
5 – Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Billy Federhofer (UF) 6-2, 6-4
6 – *Tom Jomby (UK) def. Spencer Newman (UF) 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish: 4-1-3-5-6