The No. 54 USF men’s tennis team traveled to New Orleans on Saturday to compete in the 2005 Conference USA shootout, but were able to go with a first round bye as it went into the tournament as the No. 2 seed, trumped only by Tulane at No. 1.
Although they lost the doubles point 8-5 and 8-3, the Bulls pulled out the victory and swept Southern Miss. in singles matches.
USF juniors Frederico Barton and Juan Barragan beat their opponents 6-0, 7-5 and 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, respectively. Up two matches to one, senior Andreas Maroldt and freshman Juan Carlos Gomez also beat their respective opponents to secure the 4-1 win over the Golden Eagles.
“Southern Miss is a good team — they came after us. I think this win gave us a lot of confidence that we are a good team,” coach Don Barr said. “It was good for us to get a little bit of a winning streak.”
With the win over Southern Miss., the Bulls advanced to the final round of intra-conference play as they faced No. 28 Tulane in a Sunday afternoon match.
With USF still fighting to win doubles matches, the Tulane pair of Alberto Sottocorno and Dmitriy Koch edged the Bulls’ senior/junior duo of Uli Kiendl and Barragan 8-4. Tulane sophomore Ted Angelinos and junior Jacobo Hernandez stumped the Bulls’ Barton and Dillon Brozyna with an 8-5 win to secure the doubles point.
“We’ve had a couple of injuries and we were forced to make amends,” Barr said regarding winning the doubles point. “I like (the team of) Barragan and Kiendl. They just started playing together and really, they just need to get some matches together. You know, doubles is such a different game — we rely too much on our singles.”
Despite their sweeping singles play against Southern Miss., the Bulls came up short against the Green Wave on Sunday as they were shut out in singles competition.
“Most of our matches were very close,” Barr said. “Some that didn’t finish were within our reach. A point here and there — they could have gone either way.
“We just need to learn from this tournament,” Barr said. “When we get the lead, we need to close it out. But when we’re down, we just need to stay in it.”