The USF men’s tennis team completed its final tune-up before the Conference USA Shootout defeating the Colorado Buffaloes 6-1 Saturday.
The Bulls won two of three doubles matches and took five of six singles matches, with four going into a third set.
“I was very pleased with the doubles play today,” USF coach Don Barr said.
“The No. 3 doubles (Juan Barragan and Uli Kiendl) played very aggressive. It was the best doubles I’ve seen in a long time.
“As for the No. 2 doubles (Andres Maroldt and Sebastian Niedermayer), I felt they were a little tight and nervous. I have confidence that they will bounce back.”
The Buffaloes were a big test for the Bulls.
“This was a big game for us,” senior Jorge Escallon said. “We were down in the Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles and came back to win three of them. This shows that we had the heart to win. Now, we can only get better from here.”
One of the players who forced a third set was USF freshman Federico Barton.
“My opponent (Jon Magnes) was very aggressive,” Barton said. “I started out the match with no rhythm.
“I was going for the lines and missing. I feel that was the difference in losing the first set 6-4.”
Barton said he figured out his game in the second set, and that’s where his confidence set in.
“I was moving him around and trying to make him tired,” Barton said. “I knew he wasn’t used to the weather in Florida.”
Barton came back to defeat Magnes in the second and third sets, 6-2, 6-0.
In his past two matches, junior Paco Antelo hasn’t been playing up to his ability as the Bulls’ top seed.
Barr said he feels Antelo’s struggles are because of a lack of confidence.
Because of this, Barr switched up the lineup, putting Antelo at the No. 3 singles and Kiendl at No. 1.
“I want to get (Paco) some wins first before I move him back to where he belongs,” Barr said.
Overall, Barr was happy with his Bulls’ performance.
“They all battled hard and did a great job of closing out their matches,” Barr said. “We definitely had an advantage in the Florida heat.”
The Bulls will now have two weeks off to prepare for the C-USA Shootout, which they will host Feb. 28 through March 2.
USF will host five of the top conference schools in a preview of the conference tournament.
“The shootout is going to be a good tennis show,” Barr said. “Memphis has a strong team, and Tulane has two or three guys ranked.
“This is going to be some top-notch tennis.”