Eligibility issues hinder the USF tennis team

The USF women’s tennis team felt the effects of not having freshman Neyessa Etienne in the line up yesterday at UCF.

“If we had Neyssa, we would have won 7-0,” USF coach Gigi Fernandez said.

Instead, the Bulls did not have Etienne at UCF and wound up losing 4-3. Etienne is not playing right now because she is still waiting for the NCAA to decide whether she is eligible or not. The NCAA is questioning her eligibility because she was involved in events sanctioned by the Women’s Tennis Association.

“We are looking at midseason by the time a decision is made,” Fernandez said. “(Etienne) is being very patient, but I am sure she is frustrated.”

Fernandez said the athletic administration needs to do anything and everything to find out whether Etienne can play. Fernandez said she wants to know because she wants to move on if Etienne cannot play, but she is hoping that Etienne will be able to play, and soon.

“I can’t tell you the difference it is going to make (to have Etienne play),” Fernandez said.

Fernandez made it clear that Etienne would have made the difference in Orlando, but there were other reasons why USF stumbled against UCF. The Bulls lost the doubles point 2-1, and Fernandez credited the poor performance to little more than just bad luck.

“Patricia (Kolendo) and Yuri (Kurashima) had bad days,” Fernandez said. “They were off.”

All matches lasted only two games except for the No. 5 singles, which Kolendo played. With victories in the No. 1, 2 and 6 singles, and losses at the No. 3 and 4 singles, Kolendo needed a victory to seal the event for the Bulls. After losing the first set 4-6 and winning the second set 7-5, Kolendo was beaten handily in the last set 6-1.

“Patty just had a bad day today,” Fernandez said.