Men’s tennis extends win streak

In the USF men’s tennis team’s 6-1 win over Marquette, the players and officials just couldn’t seem to see things eye-to-eye.

In singles play, four of the six Bulls had call issues with either the referee or their respective opponents.

“On the court, I just try to keep (the guys) focused and in their game,” coach Don Barr said. “We try to make the officials aware of the issue, and then in the meeting (after the match), I just tell them that they’re representing USF and we want to be professional about it. You know, we want to all be good sports, but this team tried to get us off track and I think they succeeded.”

Barr has many different methods of keeping the team focused and in the zone. One of his famed catch phrases is, “Let the racquet talk.” The players and Barr look at this phrase in slightly different ways.

“It means that if you’re getting bad calls or making stupid mistakes during the match, just ‘let the racquet talk,'” freshman Dillon Brozyna said.

Barr added, “When someone (on the team) thinks he should be higher, I tell them ‘let the racquet talk.’ If they want to show me how good they are, then I feel they should let the racquet speak for itself. And believe me, I’ll be listening.”

After losing the doubles point, the men pulled it together in singles play as five of the six players won their first set. The Bulls went on to sweep the singles matches, with Freddy Barton’s 11-9 championship tie break sending the Golden Eagles back to Wisconsin.

With Marquette out of the way, the Bulls faced Jacksonville University on Sunday at the Varsity courts. USF went into the match on a five-game winning streak and, as a tribute to the seniors, left the courts with a six-game streak, defeating the Dolphins 6-1.

Seniors Uli Kiendl and Andy Maroldt defeated their opponents in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0 and 6-1, 6-1, respectively. The match was the last home match for the seniors and the Bulls’ last home match as a Conference USA member, as they head into the Big East next year.

“I think the Big East is weaker than Conference USA,” Maroldt said. “I think next year’s team will be able to secure a spot in the NCAA (tournament).”

With most of the injured players back in the lineup, USF started the day strong, winning all three doubles matches 8-5, 8-4 and 8-2. The team went on to secure five of the six singles matches and the win for USF.

“Playing with Juan (Barragan) make me feel more comfortable,” said Brozyna, who played in the No. 3 doubles spot. “He has a lot of experience and he calmed me down.”

Barragan added, “(Dillon) served strong. He had good hands with his volleys. He needs more experience in a doubles setting, but we played well together.”

The USF women’s tennis team suffered a tough weekend as they went 0-2 on the road against No. 14 William & Mary on Friday and Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.

Still plagued by injury, the Bulls dropped the first two doubles matches to William and Mary and defaulted on the third, losing the point. Freshman Liz Cruz extended her winning streak to 12 as she defeated No. 49 Megan Muth. Sophomore Neyssa Etienne was the only other Bull to put up a win, as she beat Lena Sherbakov 6-3, 6-1. The Bulls dropped to a 0-2 all-time record against the Tribe with the 5-2 loss.

On Sunday, the Bulls traveled cross-state to Richmond to take on the Virginia Commonwealth Rams. The Bulls’ No. 52-ranked team of Gabi Duch and Etienne defeated No. 19 Marianna Yuferova and Borisova, but injuries forced the third seed to default and cost the Bulls the doubles point.

Etienne defeated her opponent, No. 72 Yuferova, at the No. 1 spot, and Duch also came out victorious.

Cruz lost her first match of the season at the No. 3 spot to VCU’s Christina Arribas, making her record 12-1.