Perhaps it only seems like there’s a hex on the USF men’s tennis team when it hits the road.
The Bulls (11-3) continued to enjoy their home field advantage as they raised their home record to 11-0 Wednesday, beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 7-0. However, when it comes time to leave the friendly confines of the Varsity Tennis Courts, USF has struggled, going 0-3.
Each of the Bulls’ three losses this season has come on the road to Top-20 teams — Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.
“It’s time to start putting some (wins) on the other side,” USF coach Don Barr said. “FSU is an in-state rival who we need to play well against. If we go hard against them, we should do fine. We have the game that can beat them and we have to be ready to play at a good level of tennis.”
Losing on the road seems to be a trend the Bulls started last season. In 2002, the team racked up an 18-5 record, including a 6-1 win at home against FSU, and went on to win the Conference USA tournament. The Bulls finished a sparkling 11-1 at home, but slipped to 7-4 on the road.
Senior Jorge Escallon said that being 0-3 on the road is an extra motivation to win.
“FSU is a big rivalry for us,” Escallon said. “We beat them at home last year, and this year we should take care of them at their place. This is a big chance for us to become a really strong team. We definitely need to win on the road to be a top-20 team.”