No. 4 St. John’s vs. No. 5 USF

When: Today, 9 a.m.

Where: USF P.E. Tennis Courts

The story: The men’s tennis team faces the difficult task of trying to win its way to the NCAA Tournament by capturing the Big East title. After finishing the regular season with a disappointing 3-13 record and going 0-2 in conference play, the Bulls hope to rebound in the tournament.

Coach Don Barr described the conference championships as his “third season” – the first being the fall pre-season and the second being the regular season. During his tenure at USF, Barr has captured five “third season” championships, the latest being the 2002 Conference USA title.

“In the position we’re in, we have to make sure everyone does their job,” Barr said. “Anything can happen in the conference championships, and hopefully we can play to the level that we’re capable of playing.”

Keep an eye on: Federico Barton. The senior won both of his matches against Big East foes, including a victory over No. 71 Slavko Rodman of Louisville. Barton had a difficult time adjusting to becoming the team’s No. 1 player and finished the season 6-8 but seems to be peaking late in the year.

“Freddy is the fastest player, I’ve ever coached. It’s rare that you see a ball get by him,” Barr said. “He’s an exciting player, and he’ll give you all the effort in the world.”

– Brendan Galella