Following a strong performance at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southern Regional, the USF women’s tennis team will stay home this weekend to host the USF Invitational.
The tournament will be an in-state melee as Florida State and Florida International visit the Bulls. USF coach Gigi Fernandez wants to assess her players and work on her team’s game plan. Fernandez said the fall season is the opportunity to change the team, whereas spring is too filled with matches to alter techniques.
“After every tournament, we come back with a list of things we need to work on,” Fernandez said.
According to Fernandez, the match against FSU will be more important during the weekend than the FIU match because the Panthers are riddled with injuries. Fernandez said she expects to beat FIU, but only hopes to compete with the Seminoles, who handily defeated the Bulls 7-0 last season.
“The match against FSU is going to be a good benchmark,” Fernandez said. “I don’t think we will beat them, but it will be close.”
USF’s younger players competed past their age at the ITA Southern Regional. The doubles team of freshman Gabriela Duch and sophomore Marie France Lord Andrade advanced to the finals of the tournament.
“I am really happy with the new girls,” Fernandez said. “Marie and Gabriela have had an outstanding fall.”
The tennis team has two events left until the end of the fall season. Its last event will be the ITA South Regional in Atlanta, which ends Nov. 19. The team will then have two months of rest before opening the spring season against Jacksonville on Jan. 23.