Men’s tennis set to host Seminoles
Coming off South Florida’s first tournament of the year, coach Don Barr is finding it hard to position his starting rotation.
USF hopes to have it in place when No. 11 Florida State rolls into town Monday.
“My concern is that we are playing our best and are starting to grow from week to week,” Barr said. “I am going to look at different partners and try to come up with good combinations.”
One partnership he won’t change is sophomore Lucas Jovita and junior Thomas Estrada.
Jovita, who is ranked No. 50 in the country, and Estrada won their doubles matches against Memphis and Florida A&M last weekend.
“I think (Jovita) and (Estrada) are a good team,” Barr said. “And I’m looking for that good of a combination from the others.”
Barr said he’s hoping for Jovita to be a leader on the team.
“(Jovita) right now is our top player, without a doubt,” he said. “He’s made it all the way to the main draw in the All-American (tournament), which proves to me that he can make it.”
The Bulls, coming off a 2-1 result last weekend in the USF Invitational, are going through a tough stretch of games. USF also plays California and Arizona in the next month.
“I know we can keep building,” Barr said. “That’s why I put together a very tough schedule. These guys know exactly what they need to do to be a top 10 team.”
Freshmen Wael Kilani and Romain Deridder, the only doubles team to defeat No. 15 Illinois, were perhaps the surprise of last weekend’s invitational.
However, Florida State has a mix of players that concerns Barr.
Senior Bobby Cameron transferred this year to FSU from Tennessee, where he ranked No. 5 in doubles last year. Senior Andrew Bailey, the Seminoles’ most consistent doubles player, has a 51-32 doubles career record. Junior Jean-Yves Aubone is ranked No. 13 in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association — the highest singles ranking in FSU history.
“I think the biggest thing against Florida State is in the top of the lineup,” Barr said. “They’ve actually got a couple more new players that are going to make that team even stronger.”