The South Florida women’s tennis team lost two matches at home this weekend and another player to injury.
The Bulls fell to Furman and Florida State in their first home matches of the spring semester and received news that senior Lauren Shumate will undergo an MRI on her right knee after being diagnosed with patella tendinitis.
That didn’t stop Shumate from trying to play, though.
Despite the injury, she faced Florida State’s Jessica Sucupira on Sunday but fell in the first set. The pain was too much for Shumate to overcome in the second set, and coach Agustin Moreno forced her to stop playing.
“I wanted to finish the match,” she said. “But coach (Moreno) did not want to risk any further injury.”
Assistant coach Luisa Obando said she was impressed with Shumate’s desire to
“(Shumate) is a fighter, and it is tough knowing that she is playing her best tennis right now even though she is injured,” she said. “She is such an asset to this team — always positive. We are going to need her down the stretch.”
South Florida (0-4) is also without sophomore Janette Bejkova — who was 17-0 last season — because of an ankle injury.
“It has been tough with the injuries and not having our top two players, but we have such a positive attitude, and the wins are going to come,” Moreno said.
The Paladins (1-4) defeated USF in three doubles and four singles matches. FSU swept USF in all six singles matches.
In the No. 1 singles slot, South Florida’s Jessica Zok fell 6-1, 6-1 to Furman’s Laura Gioia, who is the No. 9 player in the country.
“I couldn’t get away with anything,” Zok said. “(Gioia) made my weaknesses look really bad. It was a great learning experience for me, though.”