Shumate helps women’s tennis get first win

After a slow start, the USF women’s tennis team is making improvements.

The Bulls came away with their first victory of the season — after losing five consecutive matches — at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts with a 6-1 win over Eastern Michigan on Monday.

“These matches certainly help with our confidence,” said Bulls coach Agustin Moreno.  “We never play our best tennis at the beginning of the season, but we always compete better as we gain more experience.”

USF (1-5) swept the doubles point from Eastern Michigan (2-6), and won five of six singles points to secure the match.

USF junior Lauren Shumate continued her strong play, defeating Eastern Michigan’s Rumbidzai Muskwe 6-2 and 5-0 before Muskwe had to retire from action with a leg injury.

“(Muskwe) retired because she was tired of me beating her,” Shumate said, jokingly. “I couldn’t let her injury affect my game, though. I had to give her my best the entire match.”

The Bulls will receive a huge boost Friday when they face Texas A&M. Sophomore Irene Rehberger, who was granted eligibility by the NCAA last week, will make her first appearance after transferring from Spain.

“I have been playing very well during practice, but it will take a few matches to get back in full swing,” Rehberger said.  “I can’t wait to play for real, though.”

Moreno is looking forward to seeing his top player in action.

“(Rehberger) is a champion and a fighter,” Moreno said. “I am very excited to see her on the court for us.”

Coming off their first victory of the season and getting help from Rehberger, who is ranked No. 440 in the world, USF will take momentum into two matches in Texas against the Aggies this weekend.