The USF women’s tennis team opened the season 1-2 this weekend against in-state foes Stetson, Florida Atlantic and Central Florida.
Monday, UCF put on a strong performance in defeating the Bulls 6-1. The host Golden Knights swept all three doubles matches, and only Claudia Nieto at No. 6 managed to score a point for USF. Nieto’s victory evened the score at 1, and while Natalie Schwartz at No. 1 and No. 3 Ashlee Callahan pushed their matches to three sets, neither came away victorious, and the other three singles all lost in two sets.
USF fared better Saturday against FAU. However, the Owls took the doubles point and hung on to win even though the Bulls got victories from Schwartz, Jennifer Sinclair and Callahan at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4.
The Bulls’ debut saw the squad face the Hatters of Stetson Friday. The Bulls swept the match 7-0, with only No. 2 Genevieve Houle so much as dropping a set. The Stetson match also marked the debut of redshirt freshman Patricia Kolendo and the return of senior Jackie Spicijaric.
Kolendo blanked Johanna Serrao in straight sets (6-0, 6-0) while Spicijaric, who sat out the 2001 season with a back injury, teamed with Schwartz to earn the Bulls a victory at No. 1 doubles.
3 standout at UF for USF track and field
The USF indoor track team got a strong showing from its runners at the University of Florida this weekend in its final competition before the Conference USA meet.
Tara Quinn and Kristy Fuller starred for the Bulls, finishing first and second in the 3,000 meter race.
Assistant coach Heather Curtiss said she was pleased with the performance.
“Tara Quinn ran an awesome race,” Curtiss said. “She ran with a lot of confidence and a lot of strength.”
Curtiss said Quinn’s time of 9:41.04 was eight seconds faster than her previous best. Fuller ran a strong 9:55.47 and also competed in the mile race, in which she ran a 4:58.30.In addition to the performance of Quinn and Fuller, Amber Delpino won the 400 meter race with a time of 55.99, which Curtiss said was also a personal best.
“She ran faster than she ever had in her life,” Curtiss said. “She ran a very aggressive race.”
Curtis said the team faced strong competition throughout the meet. She said, however, the intensity at the meet seemed lower than normal.
“The atmosphere of the meet kind of seemed to drag, but that may have been because it’s toward the end of the indoor track and field season,” she said.
Curtiss said despite the lowered intensity, she considered the meet a successful tune-up for the conference meet, which takes place in two weeks.
“Our intentions were to get some good marks to go into the conference meet,” she said. “I definitely think we did that.”
A theme throughout the season for the team has been inconsistency from young athletes. Curtis said the same inconsistency was evident again this weekend.
“Across the board we had some good performances and some not so good,” she said.
Curtis said the inconsistency has yet to go away. She said it will take time for the young athletes.
“They weren’t much better (this weekend) unfortunately,” she said. “It’s going to be a thing that’s going to take a year to get it through their minds. We’re still trying to encourage and (give the athletes) confidence.”
The team has no meet next weekend, which gives them an extra week to train for conference competition. Curtiss said the coaching staff has to decide which athletes will compete in the meet by Sunday, when the entries are due.
“We pretty much have it down to most everyone that’s going to go,” she said. “There may be one or two people we’re still deciding.”
Curtiss said having this weekend off will provide the team with solid training time before it travels to the conference meet.”This next week we’ll train fairly hard,” Curtis said. “By the weekend and next week we’ll start to taper back.”
- Rob Brannon
Men’s golf finishes 15th at UF SunTrust
In the 15-team field at the SunTrust Invitational at Gainesville this weekend, the Bulls’ golf team shot 302 in the last round to wind up last in the standings. For 54 holes, the Bulls had an 893. Of the 78 golfers, Ricky Carrillo had the best finish for the Bulls when he came in 37th. Tele Wightman and Brad Quiri tied for 51st, a pair of shots behind Carrillo.
- Staff Report