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Doubles decides victory

It’s very simple. Win the doubles point and come home with a victory. This is the plan for the USF women’s tennis team.

“The doubles play is huge. It’s extremely important to us,” USF coach Gigi Fernandez said. “We have yet to win a doubles point and lose a match or lose a doubles point and win a match.”

“When we won the first point, we won the match,” added USF freshman Fabiana Taverna. “The doubles point is important because you’re going to see that we are up 1-0, and that’s going to help (the team) a lot.”

USF can start getting back into the winning momentum by taking the doubles point on Saturday against Indiana. The Bulls are coming off a 7-0 loss against 21st-ranked Clemson Wednesday.

Some of the disadvantages that USF brings into the upcoming match are the limitations on its lineup.

“The thing that’s difficult for us is that we have seven players, and one of them can’t play singles because she’s having some major problems with her serve,” Fernandez said. “If we lose a player, we’re in deep trouble.”

Also, Fernandez said the team is struggling at the No. 2, 4 and 6 spots.

“I switch the No. 2 and 3 spots because when I put them in No. 2, they don’t get wins. Same with No. 4,” Fernandez said. “You have to go with what you have and make it work.”

Indiana (8-7) is coming off a three-game winning streak, and USF (6-9) is coming off a two-game losing streak. Fernandez said that she is optimistic about the match this weekend.

“It’s a good match for us,” she said. “It’s a match that we can win.”

Since the Bulls have played their past six matches at home and they play Indiana at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts, the team has not had to worry about traveling and has home-field advantage.

“It’s really nice not to have to travel, but I don’t think we have the tremendous home-field advantage because we don’t have a lot of fans out here,” Fernandez said. “It would be great if we had a bigger crowd — it would be louder.

“That’s something we have to work on. I think the better the team gets, the more people will want to come out.”