The #SpringOfRings campaign for both the USF Men’s and Women’s tennis teams came to an end over the weekend, as both teams were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
After sweeping Duke 4-0 in the first round of the tournament on Friday, AAC Coach of the Year Ashley Fisher and his #22 USF men’s team returned to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday where they would fall in the second-round to host and #12 seed Georgia 4-1.
After dropping two matches in doubles competition to fall behind 1-0, the four-time defending American champion Bulls (18-9) evened things up when Co-AAC Player of the Year Sasha Gozun defeated UGA’s Nathan Ponwith 6-2, 6-4.
Unfortunately, that’s where the victories stopped for the Bulls in singles action. Justin Roberts fell to Wayne Montgomery 7-6, 6-3, Alberto Campos fell to Emil Reinberg 6-3, 6-1, and Jacub Wojcik fell to Robert Loeb 6-3, 6-4, ending the Bulls’ bid for a second Sweet 16 appearance in three seasons.
The season isn’t over yet for the senior Gozun. He will return to Athens on May 24 to take part in the NCAA Singles Championships. Coach Fisher described what he has meant to the program:
“Sasha was one of the guys that has turned this program around. When he came here four years ago, USF men's tennis wasn't on the map. He became one of the guys that led that charge and he led us through the finish line here… It's a tribute to how hard he's worked and the sort of tennis he's playing. I really think he's going to be one of the guys to beat in the NCAA tournament. I think he's going to have a big future moving forward.” -Fisher via GoUSFBulls.com
Just a few weeks removed from their Cinderella run through the AAC Tournament, the USF Women’s season ended in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, falling 4-0 to Miami at the University of Florida’s Ring Tennis Complex.
Because of rainy weather, the match had to be moved indoors where the Bulls (15-11) couldn’t quite get into a rhythm against the Hurricanes.
After falling behind 1-0 with two setbacks in doubles play, USF didn’t fare any better in singles competition.
UM’s Sinead Lohan kicked things off with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over USF’s AnaRoman Dominguez. Next, Estela Perez-Somarriba defeated outgoing Bull senior Vera Bessonova 6-4, 6-4 to put the ‘Canes up 3-0. Finally, UM’s Dominika Paterova delivered the final blow, defeating Juliana Cardoso 6-1, 6-1 to complete the sweep.
Second-year head coach and American Coach of the Year Cristina Moros reflected on her team’s incredible run afterwards:
“It was a really an up-and-down season. We battled through a lot of injuries, sicknesses and a lot of things that were kind of out of our control. For it to come together at the conference tournament, the loss today shouldn't take anything away from that because that was definitely a very special moment for this team. We kind of proved that we were tough, we just couldn't quite execute it (Saturday).” -Moros via GoUSFBulls.com