Rehberger returns, USF drops two in Texas

Despite having transfer Irene Rehberger in action for the first time this season, the University of South Florida women’s tennis team (1-7) dropped matches against Texas and Texas A&M last weekend.

“I thought we played better,” said Bulls coach Agustin Moreno. “But some girls are lacking fight and spirit. They need more fight because it’s the only way to come out on top.”

In front of a crowd of 627 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas, on Friday, the Aggies defeated the Bulls 5-2, taking 4-of-6 singles matches. Only Allyn Mueller and Jessica Sweeting won for USF.

In her first match with the team since transferring from Spain, Rehberger fell to Texas A&M’s Elze Potgieter. Moreno said he was pleased to see her playing, though.

“(Rehberger) played very well in her first match as a Bull,” Moreno said. “The crowd was really against her, but she fought hard.”

Rehberger returned with a win over Texas’s Krista Damico in straight sets, 6-3 and 6-4, despite the Bulls’ 5-2 loss to the Longhorns at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center.

Moreno said it was doubles competition that proved to be the team’s downfall.

“We had such a good chance to win the doubles point but we fell short in a tiebreaker and were forced to win four of the six singles points against a very tough team,” Moreno said.

South Florida returns for nine consecutive home matches at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts, beginning Sunday against Ohio State.