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Men’s tennis captures first Big East win of the season

Men’s tennis hosted its first Big East match of the season Wednesday, defeating St. John’s University 6-1. The Bulls have had plenty of rest since their narrow 4-3 loss at No. 12 Florida on Feb. 25.

Defeating a conference opponent by such a large margin would normally be cause for celebration, but coach Don Barr knows there is much for his young squad to learn.

“I feel like today was a little bit of a letdown, level-wise, from how we played against Florida,” Barr said. “We were not very sharp, but we did get the win. We have a talented team, and we won today because we are talented, not because we played well. Conference teams are going to come at us with their A games, so we need to be ready.

“We will learn from it, and we got a good win.”

The Bulls (4-6, 1-0) jumped out early on St. John’s (4-6, 0-1) by sweeping through the doubles matches to earn the point. USF’s Mahmoud Hamed and Thomas Estrada met little resistance from the Red Storm’s Artem Vlasenko and Tom Green in the No. 1 doubles match, winning 8-1.

Ales Svigelj and Marc Jaeger met similar success against St. John’s Alex Svetlakov and Derek Wallensteen with an 8-1 win. USF’s Henning Hipp and Daniel Daudt won their fourth doubles match of the season by defeating Claudio Halim and Louis Desmarteaux 8-5.

“We are doing much better in the doubles point,” Hipp said following the match.

All season, Barr has stresseed the importance of starting the match strong, and the past four matches are proof. In three matches the Bulls won, they took the point, while in the lone loss the point was the deciding factor.

The Bulls dominated the Red Storm in singles action, winning five of six matches.

Hamed had a convincing win over Jordon Talbot 6-0, 6-0, and Daudt won his first singles match as a Bull, 6-0, 6-0. Jaeger nearly lost his one-set advantage to Vlasenko, but regained form to win 6-3, 1-6, 1-0 (3). The win is Jaeger’s first of the season in singles play.

Estrada overcame illness to defeat Derek Wallensteen, 6-4, 6-3. The win gives Estrada an 8-2 singles record in dual matches this spring.

“I didn’t feel so good. But the main thing is we are winning,” Estrada said. “I just tried to keep making the points and eventually got the win.”

The Bulls host Boston College at the Varsity Tennis courts today.