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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Coach Andy Jackson’s 100th home win at Florida could come against his former team.

After a second rain out against FSU, the No. 7 Gators (12-2, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) men’s tennis team returns to conference play against No. 46 Mississippi State (8-6, 1-3 SEC) on Sunday at 1 p.m in Gainesville.

Jackson, in his ninth season at UF, coached at Mississippi State from 1989 until 2001.  At MSU, Jackson's team finished in the top 25 all 13 seasons, including seven consecutive top-10 finishes from 1992 to 1998.

UF enters the match with a 4-0 start in SEC play, the school’s best since 2005.

This early success can be attributed to strong contributions from both the top and bottom of the lineup.

No. 6 junior Alexandre Lacroix has won his last seven matches at the No. 1 position.  Six of the seven wins are over ranked opponents.

A combined record of 25-2 from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions has also helped set up many of those wins.

Sophomore Nassim Slilam has a current streak of 11 straight wins, 10 at the No. 6 spot and one at the No. 5 spot. 

This season’s four conference victories have all come against SEC West teams.

On Sunday, the SEC West opponent will be coming into Gainesville with a two-game winning streak, including a 4-3 win over USF in Tampa.

The FSU match being delayed affected Florida’s preparation going into Sunday’s match.

Jackson said the team did not practice Thursday and will have a very light practice today.

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Freshman Bob Van Overbeek said the team will be focused and does not think Wednesday was a negative experience.

“Even though it was a switch from playing SEC opponents, it does not really throw off our rhythm,” Van Overbeek said.  “FSU is a good team. It felt like playing another SEC team.”

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