Bulls earn second consecutive victory

After a three-game losing streak, the USF women’s tennis team has bounced back in style.

The Bulls defeated Conference USA rival Houston 4-3 to capture its second consecutive win Tuesday.

The Bulls (4-7) dominated the doubles matches, winning all three. Fabiana Taverna and Luisa Obando, Patricia Kolendo and Jamie Larson and Gina Craig and Talia Romero won easily, 8-6, 8-5 and 8-2, respectively.

USF coach Gigi Fernandez was pleased with her team’s play.

“I think it was good,” Fernandez said. “The matches that we won, we won easily. They’re playing much better and improving every day.”

Even with the Bulls losing three of six matches during singles play, Fernandez said she wasn’t disappointed.

“I was very happy today,” Fernandez said. “I think everybody fought really well.”

With the outcome already known, No. 1 seed Taverna went up against Analia Longoni of Houston for the last match of the day. In what was the most exciting match, Taverna went wire-to-wire with Longoni. However she lost 7-5, 7-6 (9-7). Even with the loss, the Bulls still voted her Most Valuable Player for the game.

“The team votes for MVP after every match, and even though she didn’t win, she won MVP because of her effort,” Fernandez said. “(That) is what I’m looking for in all their matches, just effort. It’s not whether you win or lose, as long as you can compete. I think if you compete, you have a chance to win.”

Despite the loss, Fernandez said the long-drawn match might help her maturation process down the road.

“She had a great match at UNC-Charlotte last Sunday, and she’s made a little turnaround the last two full matches in terms of her ability to stay out there and give herself opportunities,” Fernandez said. “Unfortunately, its tough for her because No. 1 is always good and there’s no easy matches. Hopefully, we’ll help her out next year by bringing in some better players so she’ll have better competition at practice.”

With the wins, Fernandez said the team will not practice today or Thursday.

“They’re having two days off,” Fernandez said. “I told them if they won two out of three, they could have two days off.”

Associate Editor Khari Williams contributed to this report.