After a big win against the nationally ranked Auburn Tigers, the USF women’s tennis team has set their sights on a more lucrative, yet elusive target: The Seminoles of Florida State.
After losing 7-0 to the Seminoles last season, then improving upon that mark by losing only 4-3 in the fall, FSU has become an obtainable but slippery opponent for USF.
Coach Gigi Fernandez, however, said she is confident that they can defeat the Seminoles.
“I think we have a pretty good chance (of winning),” Fernandez said.
She said although they are beatable, the Bulls must be competitive in order to come out victorious in an evenly matched contest.
“It’s just a matter of who plays better than who on that day,” Fernandez said.
Impeding the Bulls in their attempt to foil the ‘Noles will be the injuries of No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles player Gabriela Duch and No. 5 singles player and No. 3 doubles player Luisa Obando. Duch, a freshman, is probable for the game with a sprained ankle, and Obando, a sophomore, is doubtful with a jammed finger.
“You do what you can with what you have,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said if Obando can play and Duch cannot, the lineup will stay the same and they will take a loss at No.1 singles. However, if Duch can play and Obando cannot, No. 6 singles advance to the No. 5 spot.
“At No. 5 or No. 6, its pretty even (competition),” Fernandez said.
Singles competition will be important for the Bulls, but Fernandez said the doubles this weekend will be crucial.
“It is going to be huge,” Fernandez said. “Bigger than huge.”
The doubles point against Auburn was the deciding point in USF’s 4-3 victory and Fernandez stressed the importance of doubles again going into this match. Fernandez is not worried about the strategy of her doubles teams, but [she is concerned?] how well they use the strategy she has taught them.
“My focus when they play doubles, is that they play them correctly,” Fernandez said. “If they lose, it’s because of execution not because of tactics.”