Before earning a win in Monday’s match, the Florida State Seminoles had already earned something from the USF men’s tennis team: respect.
The Bulls (1-4) fell to the Seminoles (6-6) 5-2 after winning two of three doubles matches and dropping all but one of its singles matches. Florida State is ranked No. 30 in the Fila/ITA Intercollegiate Rankings and handed the Bulls their first home loss of the season.
“We played the doubles very well, and I was glad that we were able to remain competitive throughout the match,” coach Don Barr said. “I thought we had a good chance to win after getting the doubles point, but Florida State showed why they are one of the best teams in the country today.”
The Bulls started the afternoon with an 8-6 victory in doubles play from juniors Federico Barton and Dirk Britzen. After trailing early in their set, Mark Gattiker and Juan Barragan recovered and won 8-6, giving USF the first point of the match.
Britzen, ranked No. 24 in the Fila Collegiate Tennis Single Rankings, won the lone singles match for the Bulls by defeating Ytai Abougzir 6-3, 6-1, improving his record to 3-1 this season. He praised the play of Florida State.
“The Seminoles are a great team. They used to be ranked No. 11 in the country, but we still had a chance to win today,” Britzen said. “Coach Barr stresses that we have to make the other team win and not give the match away. Today we played hard but fell short.”
Although the team fell short, Barr said the highlight of the match was the play of Britzen.
“Dirk is our leader on and off the court. With him on our team we have a shot to win any match,” Barr said. “Dirk has improved his athleticism, and now I really feel that Dirk will be my first All-American.”