With seven straight wins entering Saturday’s match against the University of South Alabama, the women’s tennis team didn’t panic after losing the doubles point. The Bulls rallied late and captured four of the six singles matches, earning a 4-3 victory.
“The Jaguars are a tough team. They are ranked 75th, but they are much better than that, and we knew that it wouldn’t be easy to win,” coach Agustin Moreno said. “We were mentally stronger than they were today, and that helped us close the game.”
Sophomore Courtney Vernon started the rally with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Jelena Krivacevic, tying the match at one. Vernon is ranked No. 57 by the Fila Collegiate Tennis Singles Rankings and improved her record to an impressive 15-0 this season.
“They put a lot of pressure on us after capturing the doubles point,” Vernon said. “Our coaches always try and find the positives even when we lose. We knew that we had to win our singles matches. Our team is balanced, so we can rely on each other and know that we’re going to win.”
With the match tied at three sets apiece, sophomore Liz Cruz clinched the victory with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Maria Zivcicova. The win improved the Bulls’ record to 13-3 while South Alabama fell to 10-7. USF is ranked No. 43 in the country, and its eight-game winning streak is the longest in five years.
“After every win our team gains more confidence,” Moreno said. “We try not to get ahead of ourselves. Our team is playing well because we’ve been focusing on one team at a time.”