Bulls to duke it out with Illinois

After breaking a six-game losing streak against Southwest Missouri State, the USF women’s tennis team will be back on the court to face No. 2 Illinois today at the varsity tennis courts at 2 p.m.

“I am happy that we won (against SMS), don’t get me wrong, but we have to keep it in perspective,” USF coach Gigi Fernandez said.

Despite being 4-0 all-time against Illinois, the Bulls have their work cut out for them. The Illini are 8-3 and have beaten Notre Dame, Wake Forest and Harvard, who are all in the top 35. Despite sweeping SMS, Fernandez is not impressed since they are a weaker team than the Bulls are used to playing.

“For me — I’m not pleased,” Fernandez said. “It takes a lot more than (Monday’s victory) to thrill me. I was happy with the William & Mary loss; let’s put it that way.”

SMS may not be the caliber of team USF is used to facing, but Fernandez said that Conference USA does not have ranked teams like Illinois. Fernandez said that her goal for the Bulls is to finish in the top four in C-USA.

“Every match is a test, one way or another,” Fernandez said. “We still have a lot of matches left, and our goal is conference. We want to finish top four in conference and I think that is realistic.”

Although Fernandez is trying to keep things in perspective, she said that some girls on her team overcame some obstacles in the match against SMS. She admitted victory over SMS might be just the win they were looking for.

“I think they might have turned the corner,” Fernandez said. “I think you have to get over the hump.”