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Bulls drop first Big East tennis match

The short-handed men’s tennis team dropped its inaugural Big East match against Louisville 5-2 on Sunday at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.

With junior Dirk Britzen still nursing a sore back, the Bulls were forced to forfeit one of six singles matches and one of three doubles matches. The loss was the sixth straight for the Bulls.

“Anytime you give up a point, it hurts,” coach Don Barr said. “But it also makes our guys dig in and know that there is no room for error. Louisville should be the No. 2 team in the conference, and we had a real chance of winning today.”

Sophomores Dillon Brozyna and Marc Jaeger defeated the Cardinals’ Jeremy Clark and Jakob Gustafsson 8-3, earning the lone doubles win for the Bulls. Clark and Gustafsson were ranked No. 28 in doubles according to the Fila Collegiate Doubles Rankings.

“Mark and I arrived at USF at the same time, and we stuck together from the beginning,” Brozyna said. “We have the potential to beat a lot of good teams, and today we proved that. We put it all together, and the results showed.”

Federico Barton and Mark Gattiker won the two singles matches for USF. With the loss the Bulls dropped to 3-12 on the season while Louisville improved to 15-5.

“A lot of pressure is put on us in the doubles because we have to win two out of three,” Gattiker said. “Then if we lose the doubles point, we have to win four out of five singles matches. With Dirk being out, it’s even worse; not having him in is the worst thing that could happen to us.”