The USF women’s tennis team made quick work of visiting Stetson on Sunday, beating the Hatters 7-0 in the Bulls’ season opener.
USF debuted three newcomers in its first match, and each will have to play a key role this season.
Newcomer Neyssa Etienne, a junior who was just declared eligible by the NCAA, took the reigns at the No. 1 position and beat Jackie Bohannon 6-0, 7-5 in her first collegiate tennis match.
Also playing in her collegiate debut was freshman Courtney Vernon, who, at No. 2, was the first off the court with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Maja Miladinovic.
At No. 5, freshman Liz Cruz defeated Marina Levin 6-1, 6-3 to round out an undefeated day on the courts.
USF coach Gigi Fernandez said she thinks the addition of the team’s new players will make the Bulls competitive with some of the best teams in the country.
“I think the main thing is any team we play this year, we’ll be able to compete with the top teams,” Fernandez said.
The Bulls will get a chance when they are on the road Saturday against No. 40 Mississippi.
Former USF safety to play in Super Bowl
When the Philadelphia Eagles meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX on Feb. 6, former USF safety and Eagles kick returner J.R. Reed will become the fourth USF player to play on a Super Bowl team.
Reed, USF’s all-time interception leader, will join former Bulls Kenyatta Jones (New England), Scott McCready (New England) and Ryan Benjamin (Tampa Bay).
The only one to see action was Benjamin, who was the long snapper for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. Jones and McCready were inactive for the Patriots’ win over St. Louis.
In his 2003 senior season at USF, Reed led the nation in kick returns, averaging 31.7 yards.