After reaching the final match of the Conference USA Shootout despite injury and illness, the USF men’s tennis team was unable to beat Tulane.
“It was disappointing,” USF tennis coach Dan Barr said. “It was a tough tournament.”
After losing a close doubles point, the Bulls were defeated in the No. 6, No. 1 and No. 3 before they pulled out of the No. 2 and No. 4 singles. Without finishing the last two matches, the Green Wave overwhelmed the Bulls 4-0 to take the title back to Tulane.
“If we would have won that doubles point, we would have been right there,” Barr said.
And the Bulls were indeed right there. USF’s No. 3 doubles took Tulane, beating them 8-2 before the No. 1 doubles narrowly lost its match 8-5. The margin of defeat was even closer at the No. 2 doubles, however; sophomores German Escallon and Renato Silveira battled in the deciding match but ultimately fell 8-6.
“I thought they did a good job,” Barr said. “Everyone who has been going out there and competing has done well.”
After losing the doubles point and then losing three straight singles matches, Barr pulled sophomore Juan Barragan and senior Karim Benmansour from their matches. Benmansour, who suffers from back problems, is one of five Bulls with an injury or illness.
“We have got to get everyone strong and healthy so we have a full team,” Barr said.
Silveira suffered a slight groin pull over the weekend due to the cold weather, and freshman Matias Sigal had flu-like symptoms going into the tournament. Senior Paco Antelo and sophomore Andres Maroldt are also facing injury. Antelo injured his hamstring, and Maroldt is dealing with a pulled calf muscle.
Not all was disappointing for USF over the weekend. The Bulls defeated UAB 4-3 in the semi-finals in a long match. Barr said the length and cold conditions of the match definitely affected his team’s performance the next day.
“If we would have had a few more hours rest or even a day, it would have been different,” Barr said.