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Doubles lift women’s tennis over Ospreys

Despite having three nationally ranked singles players, the doubles matches led the USF women’s team (3-1) to victory Thursday.

The USF women’s tennis team won its second consecutive home match, defeating North Florida 5-2, mainly thanks to a 3-0 sweep in doubles competition. With the sweep, the Bulls earned the first point of the game, which coach Augustin Moreno said helped propel USF to victory.

“We’ve really practiced our doubles for the past few weeks, and I’m impressed with the results,” Moreno said. “When we get that 1-0 lead after doubles, it gives us a psychological edge.”

The pairing of Neyssa Etienne and Gabriela Duch is ranked No. 12 in the country in doubles play. The duo is 4-0 this year and has a career 14-4 record.

“Gaby and I have a really good relationship on and off the court,” Etienne said. “We have good chemistry, and we complete each other on the court. She steps up when I am having a tough match, and vice versa.”

Courtney Vernon (No. 38), Etienne (No. 53) Liz Cruz (No. 69) and Louisa Obando all won their singles matches and helped the Bulls improve their season record to 4-1. USF is ranked No. 44 in the NCAA.

“I was impressed that they were able to keep their motivation up because we have a tough match on Saturday,” Moreno said. “I really want to be ranked higher and felt this was a really good preparation match. It was a very tough match, and we didn’t win as easily as it looks on paper.”