Tennis is one of those sports that can’t be played in the rain. So when the USF men’s tennis team traveled to Georgia only to find a storm, the match had to be moved indoors on a surface that the Bulls have not played on all year.
Last year, USF (10-4) narrowly knocked Georgia out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament 4-0 in College Station, Texas. Wednesday, on an indoor surface, the Bulldogs got revenge, taking care of the Bulls 4-1 and snapping a four game winning streak.
“It started raining and they said there was a possibility of hail and everything else, so we went inside and got a half hour (to warm up),” coach Don Barr said. “Not to take anything away from Georgia, though. I was very impressed with how we played indoors. I don’t want to say that is the reason why we lost. We played a high level of tennis.”
Georgia started strong taking the doubles point winning two of three matches. Uli Kiendl and Karim Benmansour won in No. 2 doubles beating Matias Ormaza and Strahinja Bobusic 8-5 but USF’s No. 1 and 3 doubles teams both lost giving Georgia the doubles point. USF’s top duo Paco Antelo and Renato Silveira lost to the No. 5 ranked doubles pair in the country, Bo Hodge and John Isner.
“I know they would have felt a lot more pressure if we would have won that doubles point,” Barr said. “That’s what we did at the NCAA’s last year is win that doubles point and then they really felt the pressure of us coming after them.”
On the bright side for USF, Kiendl defeated Hodge, who is the No. 15 ranked player in the nation.
“He really went after him really big and he played excellent tennis,” Barr said.
Bulls host two teams this weekend
After dropping a winnable match in Boca Raton, the USF women’s tennis team is back in action Saturday and Sunday when it hosts Florida International University and Troy State University.
The Bulls (3-11) have dropped eight of their last nine matches. Their last victory came on March 22 with a 7-0 win against Southwest Missouri State.
USF will play No. 73 FIU at 11 a.m. at the varsity tennis courts. FIU has an overall record of 10-4 and has been ranked as high as 44. The Bulls will go back to the varsity tennis courts Sunday afternoon to tangle with unranked Troy State. The Trojans are 9-6 and will visit Alabama State before coming to Tampa.
When reached, USF coach Gigi Fernandez refused to comment.