Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville was not a happy place for the USF men’s tennis team, as its losing streak increased to eight straight with a 6-1 loss to the Gators on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls — still unable to come out victorious in the doubles point — dropped all three matches and fell behind 1-0.
Finishing first was the team of Juan Carlos Gomez and Juan Barragan, who lost 8-3 to UF’s Hamid Mirzadeh and Jordan Dolberg. Their loss put pressure on the Bulls’ No. 1 and 3 spots to win if they wanted to salvage the point, but in the end Dillon Brozyna and Marc Jager fell 8-4 and Uli Kiendl and Freddy Barton, despite a hard-fought competition, lost 9-8.
“(UF) is the No. 7 team in the country. They’re a very tough team to play,” coach Don Barr said. “(Because of injuries), we’re playing guys that would usually be playing two spots lower. We’re still battling hard, we just need to get a few guys healthier. We should be fine by the end of the year.”
Down 1-0, the Bulls entered singles competition under the pressure of having to win at least four of the six matches in order to beat the Gators. This was not the case, as the first three matches to finish put Florida up 4-0, clinching the match.
Barton and Kiendl finished next, both with losses 6-1, 6-4 and 6-3, 7-6, respectively, which increased the Gators’ lead to 6-0 with a match still in progress.
In the No. 4 spot, Andreas Maroldt took UF’s Nestor Briceno to a three-set match before rallying in the third set to put a lone point on USF’s side of the scoreboard.
“This was Andy’s first match back and it was a good test and an excellent win for him,” Barr said. “He’s healthy and I’m glad to see he’s getting back to normal. We’ll go one match on, one match off with him until he’s totally back in shape, but it looks promising.”
The Bulls take the court again Wednesday as they challenge Indiana State on the varsity courts. The first serve is set for 2 p.m.
“We just plan on going after (Indiana State) as if they were a ranked team,” Barr said. “Teams who play on their spring break are most likely going to bring their A-game and we just need to be prepared to win at home.”