The USF men’s tennis team (3-3) – ranked 55th in the nation – lost to the No. 36 Auburn Tigers at the Yarbrough Tennis Center in a series that ended up providing more questions than answers for the Bulls.
After falling behind by losing the doubles point, the Bulls couldn’t muster any momentum in singles competition. Auburn won all six singles matches en route to the 7-0 victory.
In Friday’s preview, Barr stated the need for the Bulls to win the doubles point to “make their lives easier” and how the team needs to beat teams like Auburn to feel like it can win the conference and do well in the NCAA tournament. The Bulls, however, did neither over the weekend.
USF got swept in the doubles point and only No. 2 singles player Lucas Jovita, ranked 67th in the nation, managed to get close to a victory, as he took Auburn’s No. 81 Tim Puetz to three sets before losing 4-6, 6-2, 4-6.
USF is 1-3 against ranked opponents this year, but that is a deceiving record, since the Bulls defeated the No. 32 Rice Owls at home and had to face the No. 17 Florida State Seminoles, the No. 18 Florida Gators and the Tigers on the road, where each team has considerable winning streaks going.
The Bulls now prepare to face the Furman Paladins on Tuesday and to open conference play St. John’s next Thursday as part of a vital six-game mestand.
Neither coach Barr nor the players were available for comment.