South Florida topples No. 11 Florida State

Talk about a fast start.

The No. 40 South Florida men’s tennis team upset No. 11 Florida State 7-2 overall in its first regular season match of the year Monday at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.

“I thought we matched up well,” USF coach Don Barr said. “(FSU has) a very good doubles team.”

Freshmen Wael Kilani and Romain Deridder — ranked No. 58 in doubles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association — defeated seniors Andrew Bailey and Maciek Sykut 9-8 in doubles.

“We had a very tough match,” Kilani said. “We were focused and had good communication. We are very good friends, so that helps a lot to make good results and win tough matches.”

Senior Mahmoud Hamed and freshman Yannick Yoshizawa defeated senior Chris Cloer and junior Vahid Mirzadeh 8-3 in doubles.

“We had to find out who is a good fit and who isn’t. We’ve been experimenting, and I think (Yoshizawa and Hamed) did well today,” Barr said.

Their coaches believe the freshmen understand the level of competition after facing two top-15 teams back-to-back. The Bulls hosted No. 15 Illinois last weekend.

“We’re not there yet,” Barr said.  “We have to keep proving ourselves if we can consistently do that. It’s a great start.”

The Bulls will be off until Jan. 31 when they play at Texas Christian University.