Before Saturday’s match, USF men’s tennis coach Don Barr said winning the doubles matches against No. 35 Miami would be important. It turns out he was right.
Three doubles losses, together worth one team point, cost the Bulls the match in a 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes.
“I am a little bit disappointed in our doubles,” Barr said. “We had been working so hard. I don’t know if it was first match jitters or what.”
The Bulls fought back in singles, though, winning 3 of the first 5 singles matches, placing the entire match on sophomore Fredy Barton.
Barton won a close first set 6-4, but was dominated in the second 6-0. Barton, who went undefeated in the USF Spring Invitational, couldn’t fight off leg cramps as he dropped a close third set 7-5, giving Miami the victory.
John Hoyes of Miami was up five games to six serving for match point when Barton went for a ball, hit a backhand and fell down as his legs cramped up.
“It was a hot day, and it had been long match,” Barr said. “Fredy went to take a step forward and both legs cramped up and he went flat on the ground. It was unfortunate.” Despite the loss, Barton said he wants to take what he can from the match and move on.
“I went there with a lot of confidence. My confidence is still really high, but I have to lose sometimes,” Barton said. “I am just going to take the positive things that I learned, and hopefully, this won’t happen again.”
No. 69 Uli Kiendl, the Bulls’ only nationally ranked player, dropped his second straight match of the season in three sets to Josh Cohen. Since being ranked as high as No. 27 in the nation during the fall season, Kiendl has struggled, going 1-2.
“(His opponent) was a good player,” Barr said. “Uli just has to find his game and get back to the temperament that he usually has.”
Sophomore Juan Barragan continues to be a bright spot for the Bulls playing in flight 5. He is perfect so far in his spring matches, going 4-0. He easily beat Miami’s Colin Purcell 6-4, 6-1 Saturday.
“Juan has been playing very solid,” Barr said. “He has been working very hard; he just does his thing out there.”
Barr said his team is anxious to get the first win of the spring.
This weekend the Bulls have matches scheduled against Marquette, No.36 FSU and No. 59 South Alabama.
“We are going to have to be ready for the whole weekend. I think (getting their first win) is something that they are going to be ready for,” Barr said.