Men's tennis sweeps in first round of NCAAs

UF men's tennis player Billy Federhofer hits the ball during the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at Ring Tennis Complex.

Maria Belen Farias /Correspondent
Published: Friday, May 13, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.

Alexandre Lacroix will tell you he wasn't a very good doubles player when he came to UF. He will leave the school's all-time leader in doubles victories.

Lacroix won his 100th doubles match Friday and helped the Gators defeat South Carolina State 4-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Ring Tennis Complex.

"It feels good," said the senior, who is making his final postseason run. "I've worked hard for four years on my doubles skills, so I'm proud of it."

Florida advances to the second round today at 3 p.m., against Miami, which defeated Nebraska 4-3 in Friday's early match.

The Gators won the doubles point quickly and easily then breezed through their singles matches with wins on courts 2, 3 and 6 to clinch the match.

First, freshman Spencer Newman defeated David Grund 6-1, 6-1 at No. 6 to give Florida a 2-0 lead in the match. Next off the court was junior Nassim Slilam with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 singles against Dymtro Kovalevych. Florida sophomore Sekou Bangoura Jr. quickly followed with a 6-2, 6-1 win on court No. 3 over Anton Protsenko.

Florida defeated South Carolina State 4-0 last year in the NCAA first round in Gainesville as well.

"We played good," Lacroix said. "We did the job and didn't lose too much energy so we can be ready for tomorrow."

In facing the Hurricanes, Florida will look to avenge a 4-3 loss on their home court two years ago in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"The level goes up drastically (today) against one of our biggest rivals who beat us the last time we played them in a crushing defeat, one that really stung," Florida coach Andy Jackson said. "We'll have to play much better than we played today or the same result will happen as it did two years ago."

Facing the Hurricanes will give the Gators a significant test, one they say they are ready for.

"I'm really excited to play against Miami because I'm from Miami," Newman said. "A lot of people put a lot of pressure on me to go there, and I chose not to. So it's a personal thing for me to want to beat them."

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