After losing to top-10 teams Mississippi and Florida Monday and Thursday, the USF men’s tennis team came back strong and defeated the Florida A&M Rattlers 7-0 Sunday, sweeping both singles and doubles.
“This was a big win for us,” USF men’s tennis coach Don Barr said. “We’ve learned that we can’t let up on any opponent. We can’t drop the level of our game at any time. I feel we were excellent (Sunday).
“We were strong in doubles. Freddy (Federico Barton) did great, Jorge (Escallon) is always someone you can count on, and I was glad to see Andy (Maroldt) come back strong from injury.”
Maroldt, who defeated FAMU’s Zurab Zhavina 6-1 and 6-1 at No. 5, said he enjoyed getting back on the court and playing.
“I was very confident,” Maroldt said. “I didn’t serve 100 percent, but I did what I needed to get a win. I’m going to have a week off to recover, and hopefully, I will be able to play more aggressive with my serve.”
Maroldt, who was not eligible to play last season, had been sidelined for the first three matches due to a nerve inflammation in his rib cage.
Junior Renato Silveira battled hard to get the win against La’Vaughn Munroe.
“I started losing 4-1, but I came back and won 6-4 in the first match,” Silveira said. “That helped me close out the second match.
“It was a good win for USF. My opponent had a good serve, and it helped me bring back my confidence for the rest of the year.”
This was a well-needed win after coming off two straight 7-0 losses to top-ranked opponents.
“We need to continue to keep our focus and close out matches,” Barr said.
“If we can do this, we will be very competitive all the way through the season.”
The Bulls next chance for victory comes when they host Marquette at 2 p.m. Friday.
Contact Mathew Ratner at firstname.lastname@example.org