First Round: USF vs. # 23 Alabama
Men’s tennis took its 37th ranked team to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in six years and Ashely Fisher’s squad didn’t relinquish the opportunity to make some noise. After discovering their fate earlier in the week it was on to the Texas Tennis Center in Austin vs. the 23rd ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Friday afternoon.
However, the weather did not play its part.
After a five-hour rain delay and venue change, freshman Ivan Yatsuk secured the match point victory to clinch a 4-3 victory and punch their ticket to the second round.
The Bulls started out strong capturing the Doubles point with freshmen duo Chase Ferguson and Sergio Gomez Montesa taking court two, 6-4 and sophomore Jakob Wojcik and Yatsuk taking court three with a 7-6 tie-breaking victory.
A look back at doubles action for the Bulls! pic.twitter.com/13ffijlHXj— USF Men's Tennis (@USFMTEN) May 3, 2019
On to singles play! With Alabama holding leads on courts one, three, four, and five, mother nature intervened; first with a rain delay, then a lightning delay that ultimately pushed action to the Longhorn’s indoor facility.
The Tide slowly started to turn.
Aussie Chase Ferguson clinched in straight sets vs. #106 Edson Ortiz on court two; just one week after his championship-clincher vs. C. (6-4, 6-1).
Meanwhile, 15th ranked senior Alberto Barroso-Campos and sophomore Pierre Luqeut forced third sets on their respective courts.
Bama roared back with wins on courts one and four while Barroso-Campos couldn’t capitalize on the third set falling in a tiebreaker, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
With the game tied 3-3, Yatsuk secured his first NCAA tournament victory.
Final | USF 4, ALA 3— USF Men's Tennis (@USFMTEN) May 4, 2019
Yatsuk clinches on court six!
The Bulls are headed to the second round of the NCAA Division 1 tournament!
6️⃣ 7-5, 7-6 (3)
“Just a tremendous effort today across the board,” said Head coach Ashley Fisher after the victory. “We have said and known all along this group is special and today was just another opportunity to show it and the boys grabbed it.”
Second Round: USF vs. #2 Texas
After a long first round of action, the Bulls had very little time to suit up and face the second ranked team in the country on Saturday; this time the weather held up.
Once again USF secured the Doubles point with AAC Player of the Year Barroso-Campos and Luquet this time taking down the 5th ranked tandem in the nation and Jacob Wojcik and Yatsuk clinching on court two. Things got a little hype after that victory.
DOUBLES RECAP.— USF Men's Tennis (@USFMTEN) May 4, 2019
The Bulls are fired up after a strong doubles point win! Action continues on all six courts pic.twitter.com/uT9B4Ww0dM
However, this time there was no weather delay to turn the tables.
The Longhorns’ stacked singles line-up came out firing with two straight-set victories on courts four and five. The Bulls just didn’t have an answer having to match up against four out of six ranked opponents.
Freshman of the year Chase Ferguson fell to #12 Yuya Ito of Texas on court-three to create a 3-1 deficit for the Bulls and Yatsuk, despite forcing a tiebreaker fell to Ridrigo Banzer to end USF’s season.
Final | TEX 4, USF 1— USF Men's Tennis (@USFMTEN) May 4, 2019
Yatsuk loses his tiebreaker on court six, 7-6.
The Bulls fall to No. 2 Texas in the NCAA Tennis second round
1️⃣ 6-4, 6-5
3️⃣ 7-5, 5-1
6️⃣ 6-1, 7-6
The Bulls finished with an 18-8 record, 4-1 in conference and claimed their fifth American Athletic Conference Championship in six years after starting the year 2-4.
Conference Player of the Year Alberto Barroso-Campos will continue representing the Bulls when he competes in the NCAA Singles Championship May 20-25 at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.
USF will return most of its roster headlined by AAC Freshman of the Year Chase Ferguson.