By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The USF men's tennis team continued to grow as a team Saturday at the University of Florida's Bedford Cup in Gainesville.
The Bulls have three players alive in the singles draw, which is tied for the most with UF in this weekend's competition at Linder Stadium at the Ring Tennis Complex.
Ravi Patel won Saturday morning and then reached the singles quarterfinals by outlasting North Florida's Julien Belair, 7-6, 7-5. Patel will take on Florida's Gordon Watson on Sunday at 9 a.m.
Guillermo De Vilchez also will be playing in the quarterfinals after handing FSU's J. Kelly Houston a 6-4, 6-3 loss in De Vilchez's second match of the day. De Vilchez will play second-seeded Mike Alford of Florida on Sunday morning.
Federico Sabogal booked his trip to the quarterfinals by outlasting UCF's Jorge Blasco in three sets, 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 following his two-set win over UNF's Leo Nahir. Sabogal will see FSU's Dominic Cotrone on Sunday.
Saturday marked only the second day of competition under the guidance of new head coach Matt Hill. The first-year Bull is proud of the team's early success, but he said the priority of the weekend is for USF to continue becoming closer as a team before the spring.
"They've really been listening a lot and applying what we're telling them. It takes a lot of courage to do it in a tournament setting," Hill said. "The main thing that they're learning right now is what it takes to be a team. They're learning it minute by minute."
Ravi Patel (USF) def. Egor Pahyuskin (Stetson), 6-3 6-3
Ravi Patel (USF) def. Julien Belair (UNF), 7-6, 7-5
Guillermo De Vilchez (USF) def. Dylan Gunning (FGCU), 6-2, 7-5
Guillermo De Vilchez (USF) def. J. Kelly Houston (FSU), 6-4, 6-3
Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Leo Nahir (UNF), 6-2, 6-2
Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Jorge Blasco (UCF), 2-6, 6-0, 6-1
Jordi Vives (FGCU) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF). 6-2, 6-4
Alford/Diep (UF) def. De Vilchez/Pramming (USF), 8-3
Reed/Cotrone (FSU) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard/Sabogal (USF), 8-2