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Bulls fall in Big East quarterfinals

For the first time in USF coach Agustin Moreno’s four-year tenure, the Bulls failed to reach the finals of the Big East championships.

The No. 6 seed Louisville women’s tennis team defeated No. 3 seed South Florida 4-1 in Friday’s quarterfinals at the Andros Courts.

“It was a really tough match and injuries really affected our play,” said Bulls assistant coach Luisa Obando. “You have to fight with the soldiers you have, and we did. Overall, I am very proud of this team.”

The Bulls lost Iciri Rai and Janette Bejikova to season-ending injuries this year, leaving the team shorthanded.

After taking the doubles point, Louisville won three of four singles matches to advance to the semifinals. 

Irene Rehberger won her match, beating the Cardinals’ Lindsey Jones 6-4 and 6-3.
However, Jessica Zok, Inna Cheturnaya and Allyn Mueller lost for the Bulls.

USF followed the loss with an impressive 4-0 sweep of Pittsburgh and a 4-3 victory over Marquette to win the consolation bracket and finish fifth.

With USF and Marquette tied 3-3 in Sunday’s consolation championship at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts, Rehberger came through again for the Bulls, defeating the Golden Eagles’ Paola Calderon 6-4 and 6-0 to claim the match.

Rehberger won all three of her singles matches in the tournament, bringing her season record to 13-2.

“On the whole, it was a tough tournament because we lost our first match,” Moreno said. “But I was really glad that we finished the way we did by winning our last two matches. There were a lot of high quality teams in this tournament, and I thought we competed very well.”

The Bulls are already looking toward next season.

“You learn something new from every match,” said USF sophomore Natalia Guevara. “This will not happen again next year. We are going to be ready and we will fight to the finish because we are capable of taking the championship.”

For 2009, though, Notre Dame (23-4) came out on top of the Big East with a 4-2 championship victory over DePaul on Sunday.