The numbers just don’t add up for the USF men’s tennis team.
The Bulls won their third straight match, beating Iowa 6-1 Wednesday. However, that was the end of the good news for the Bulls, as they found they had dropped 11 spots in the newest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings released Wednesday.
The victory against the Hawkeyes improved the Bulls’ record to 11-0 on their home court, but it couldn’t stop USF from plummeting from 25 to 36 in the rankings.
“I was very surprised to see that we dropped in the rankings,” senior Nadim Naser said. “Within one week, we dropped 11 spots, although we haven’t lost a match that would put us in that position. My understanding is that they start from doing the rankings by hand to figuring them out with computers.”
The Bulls started out strong against the Hawkeyes, earning a sweep of the doubles matches by scores of 8-6, 8-1 and 8-4.
“Iowa is an indoor tennis team. They are fast-paced and always dangerous,” senior Jorge Escallon said. “We maintained our focus from the beginning and took the doubles. We didn’t let them attack us. We went after them and played our game of tennis.”
Clinching the victory, the Bulls won five of six singles matches. The lone loss came at No. 1, as Iowa’s Stuart Waters beat Renato Silveira 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).
“Renato started out slow but picked up his level of play,” USF coach Don Barr said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t win his tiebreaker.”
Junior Paco Antelo, ranked 101st in the country, continued to turn around his season by defeating Iowa’s Hunter Skogman 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. It was Antelo’s second victory in as many days, after he sat out Saturday’s match vs. Dartmouth in an attempt to get some rest following a 5-6 start this season in singles play.
Sebastian Niedermayer cleaned up at No. 6 for the Bulls, routing Parker Ross 6-2, 6-1. Escallon was as efficient in dispatching the Hawkeyes’ David Freijd 6-3, 6-0 at No. 5.
“All the guys held their own, which shows the depth on this team,” Barr said. “They battled on each of the six courts, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Even with the disheartening news of their fall in the rankings, the Bulls never allowed that to affect the way they performed against Iowa.
USF has been ranked as high as No. 21 this season before falling to 24th and 25th in the last two weeks.
Escallon didn’t see the slide in the rankings as important.
“We need to learn how to play more for the match and focus on the match coming up and not look at the rankings,” he said. “They will take care of themselves at the end of the year if we do our job and win.”