These days, what Don Barr wants, Don Barr gets.
After breaking the USF all-time coaching victories record March 9 against Pacific, following with a victory against Texas-San Antonio, and most recently earning a victory against No. 13 Auburn, Barr felt the Bulls (10-2) needed a little tuning up before their match at No. 21 LSU scheduled for Saturday.
So Barr made a couple of phone calls, and lo and behold, the No. 36 Bulls will host unranked Hartford today at 2 p.m. and Murray State on Wednesday at 2 p.m. as well.
“We need to stay sharp, and these two matches will give us that opportunity before traveling to LSU this weekend,” Barr said.The Bulls will look to refocus on their doubles play, after losing the doubles for just the second time all season in their match with Auburn.
“I told the guys they had to come back (after losing the doubles point), and that it would be a big test,” Barr said. “I reminded them to go for it and be the hunter, not the hunted.”
And hunters they were, as the Bulls went out and took the first four singles matches to finish and clinched the victory 4-1. Paco Antelo was ahead as well, and Martin Wetzel had split his first two sets, so the Bulls could have possibly finished the Tigers off 6-1.
Antelo is now ranked No. 88 in singles play, with Martin Wetzel just behind him at No. 91. Team captain Jorge Escallon is also ranked in singles, coming in at No. 118.
Barr refused to tell his players about the pending record until he had already achieved the mark in order to avoid adding any extra pressure.
“Maybe I should tell them about another record every time we go out there,” Barr said. “They set a record as well. No. 13 is the highest ranked team our program has ever defeated.”
Other team notes include the pending rescheduling of the match with Central Florida. The Bulls announced that the match would be played here April 1. The match actually will be played in Orlando, and Barr is looking to set up a later date in order to give the team a rest that week because Antelo will be playing for his country (Bolivia) in Davis Cup action.
Count on the later date being set up, because right now, what Barr wants, Barr gets.
- Chris Lemke covers men’s tennis and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org