With his team coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Miami last weekend, coach Don Barr is anticipating Paco Antelo’s return to shake up his team.
With a long weekend of tennis ahead for the USF men’s tennis team, including Marquette on Friday, No. 36 FSU on Saturday and South Alabama on Sunday, Barr said Antelo’s return to the lineup should benefit the Bulls who are looking for their first win of the season.
“We’ll have Paco in the lineup, so that is going to be a big boost for us,” Barr said. “Just to get that first win under your belt is always a big deal.”
The senior from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, has a 63-38 record as a Bull and has been ranked as high as No. 54 in the country.
“He’ll be up there in the upper part (of the lineup),” Barr said. “He’s playing well, he’s got his game back, he’s been working extremely hard to get it back and I feel that he’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. I think that’s going to be a big plus for us.”
Barr also said Antelo will be playing on one of his doubles pairs.
“Paco is a very good doubles player,” Barr said. “I look forward to doubles this weekend.”
The doubles teams of late for the Bulls could use some help. They struggled in their first match against Miami, where they dropped all three doubles matches. Antelo was 12-8 last year playing in doubles Flight 1.
Barr also welcomes Antelo’s return because he said it will add depth to the team.
“I think definitely it’ll make us a deeper team,” Barr said. “The team has a lot of respect for (Antelo) and getting him back in the lineup is definitely going to also build their confidence up and make us a lot deeper team also.”
Barr seems ready for the weekend to get underway.
“It’s a real good weekend for us. We need to try to kick off the season, to take advantage of what we learned on our loss and just kind of go after teams now and prove that we have everything in order. I think we have a lot to prove.”
Women dual struggling Knights
The USF women’s tennis team won all three doubles matches and rolled through Stetson on Sunday.
Gigi Fernandez said she hopes the Bulls can do the same in today’s 1 p.m. match against UCF at the UCF Tennis Complex in Orlando.
“Our doubles is coming on,” Fernandez said. “We’ve improved a lot on our doubles and hopefully, we can get the doubles point and take it from there.”
USF comes into the match with momentum after it took care of Stetson 5-2, getting great play from top players Gabriela Duch, Marie Ford Andrade and the doubles pairs.
Also, it may be a good time for the Bulls to get their second win of the season.
UCF comes into the match reeling after it lost 6-1 to No. 52 FSU. The Golden Knights started the season ranked No. 59 but fell out of the rankings after a 1-3 start to the season.
And if history has any bearing on the outcome, USF has a good chance of winning. The Bulls are 8-2 all-time against UCF.