With two tournaments left in the fall season, South Florida’s men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to the Omni Hotel Region III Championship this weekend.
Paco Antelo, Nadim Nasser and Jorge Escallon represented the men in Tennessee and Ashlee Callahan, Jackie Spicijaric, Jamie Larson, Jennifer Sinclair, Patricia Kolendo and Natalie Schwartz traveled to Alabama for the women.
Antelo had the best weekend out of the USF competitors, surviving to the quarterfinals before losing to No. 37 Brandon Wagner of Georgia 6-2, 6-7, 6-3.
“He’s playing very good tennis, he has his confidence back,” coach Don Barr said. “He seems like he has his confidence back in his game and it’s starting to take off again where I knew it would be.”
After starting off the season slowly, Antelo has rebounded since coming out on top of a tough tournament during the USF Fall Classic.
During the Region III Championships, Antelo defeated the No. 1 seed in the tournament and No. 9 nationally, Max Belski of Alabama 6-4, 6-1 in the fourth round.
Antelo had a bye in the opening round, then defeated Michael Maddox of Tennessee 7-6, 6-3 and Oliver Foreman from MTSU, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1.
Along with knocking out the No. 1 seed, the USF men also came close to eliminating the No. 2 seed when Nasser lost to Mario Toledo of Tennessee 7-5, 7-6 in the third round.
“Nadim did an excellent job,” Barr said. “The kid he played was in the finals and a very tough player.”
Nadim defeated Ruben Herrera of Jacksonville St. 6-4, 6-2 and then defeated Nikola Aracic of Murray St. 6-1, 6-2 before losing to Toledo.
Escallon rounded out the Bulls singles competitors by defeating Jim Jacobs of Ole Miss 6-0, 6-0 and then losing to Michael Staniak of MTSU 6-3, 6-4.
While the men’s singles team has been playing well lately, the doubles team did not fare as well.
“Singles wise they did an excellent job,” Barr said. “We didn’t play very good doubles up there. I thought we did a good job on the singles end of it, for sure.”
Antelo and Nasser lost in the first round to Florida’s Matt Behrmann and Ryan Sherry 8-6.
The women, who have been working on improving their doubles teams, came closer to accomplishing their goal when the duo of Larson and Sinclair made it to the finals of B draw, but were unable to play due to USF’s scheduled flight back to Tampa.
“We did OK, not great, we’re still working on things,” coach Sherry Bedingfield said. “I feel a little better about our doubles combinations.”
Larson and Sinclair defeated Laura Alacorn and Maria Lynn van der Linde 8-5 in the second round after a first round bye.In the third round they defeated Catherine Maum and Jenny Timmis 8-3 then beat Agatha DeRouck and Camilla Gould 9-8 (4) in the semifinals.
The other doubles pair of Callahan and Kolendo also had a bye in the first round then lost to De Rouck and Gould 8-6.Schwartz and Spicijaric defeated Catherine Gunn and Laura Ozolins of Georgia Tech 8-3 before losing to Agata Cioroch and Lori Grey of Georgia 8-2.
In singles, three Bulls advanced to the third round after first round byes – Larson Callahan and Kolendo.
Callahan defeated Sahirah Williams 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Kolendo defeated Charlotte Kelly 6-1, 6-4 and Larson defeated Elaine Fagan 6-4, 6-3, all in the second round.
The women’s team will play the weekend of Nov. 9 in Dallas to finish out the individual season and the men will travel to LSU this weekend to conclude their fall season.
- Bryan Fazio covers tennis and can be reached at email@example.com