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Monday, May 27, 2024

Sekou Bangoura Jr. is usually one of the first Gators to finish his singles set and help set up a win.

Sunday he played the role of clincher.

The freshman contributed directly in two of the most important parts of Florida's 6-1 win over Alabama (7-8 1-3 Southeastern Conference).

In doubles competition, courts No. 2 and 3 were both tied 7-7 with UF (12-2, 4-0 SEC) already having won one of the necessary two sets.

Bangoura and sophomore Joey Burkhardt delivered a 9-7 win to lock up the doubles point.

“We kept telling ourselves to make them play, make them volley and earn the point,” Bangoura said. “The pressure was on them since it was their serve, so we just had to keep putting it back to them.”

Down 1-0, Alabama did not roll over in singles play.

After three completed singles matches, the Gators led 3-1 with two matches on their way to a third set.

Bangoura clinched the victory for Florida with a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 5 position.

UF coach Andy Jackson said his team won without playing its best match. He did not criticize the intensity or effort, but noted that the windy conditions “make it hard to play at a high level.”

Even though the team is focused on SEC play, UF’s next match will be against an Atlantic Coast Conference team.

Florida hosts No. 19 FSU (10-3) on Wednesday at 4 p.m., a match that was rescheduled after being rained out on Feb. 24.

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The women’s squad also defeated the Crimson Tide 4-0 on Sunday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

The Gators’ (14-2, 4-0 SEC) top four players provided all the contributions necessary to defeat Alabama (6-7, 0-4).

The doubles point was won with victories from the No. 34 team of senior Anastasia Revzina and freshman Lauren Embree and the No. 6 team of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will.

No. 105 Revzina won the first singles match 6-1, 6-0 to give UF the 2-0 lead.

From there, the two top-15 freshmen secured the win.

No. 11 Will won 6-0, 6-1 and No. 15 Embree clinched the victory with a 6-2, 6-2 win.

The three remaining active matches were not completed.

The women’s team returns home for some time off before the next road trip to Starkville, Miss. to face Mississippi State on March 26.

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