The USF women?s tennis team will be looking to change its fortunes when it hosts Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. today. The Bulls (4-9) have lost five of their last six matches, including the last two to Clemson and No. 38 Kansas, respectively.
The team experienced similar difficulties last year. The team struggled mightily in 2001, losing 12 of 13 matches at one point in the season.
The Panthers (2-8) shouldn?t pose nearly as much a problem as the Jayhawks or Tigers. UNI has a losing streak of its own, having dropped three straight heading into its match with Lynn Wednesday in Boca Raton. That was the first of three straight road matches in three days for UNI. All of which should bode well for a Bulls? squad that has been battle tested. USF has faced five teams ranked among the Intercollegiate Tennis Association?s Top 61 teams, including the third-ranked Florida Gators.
The Panthers? match is the second of six consecutive home matches to end the season for the Bulls. USF will be looking to make a favorable impression on the league?s coaches when the C-USA Tournament rolls around April 18-21 in Fort Worth.
The Bulls already have a victory against conference foe Louisville and have Marquette still to go on their schedule. Even with a 5-14 record last year, the Bulls received the No. 3 seed in the C-USA Tournament, so a strong finish could position USF nicely for a run through the conference tourney, which would net them an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
- Anthony Gagliano