By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – Everth Dzib dug himself out of a deep hole late to send USF past No. 45 Middle Tennessee State University, 4-3, Saturday afternoon in Orlando.
“For the last month we’ve been challenging them to be mentally tougher because we know that’s the only way we’re going to beat these teams,” head coach Matt Hill said. “They really stepped up to the challenge and it was impressive to see.”
Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez Muniz started things off with an 8-6 doubles win while Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard and Federico Sabogal also won, 8-6, to give USF an early boost before snapping MTSU’s seven-match winning streak.
“We worked a lot this week on the doubles and it paid off today big time. It turns out we really needed it,” Hill said.
Gonzalez-Muniz made quick work of Victor Cornea, 6-4, 6-2, to continue a strong debut season as a Bull.
“Nacho probably had the best match of the spring with us. He played phenomenally against a very good player and that was a huge win there,” Hill said.
Juan Carlos Acuna-Gerard was down two match points in the third set before rallying past Yannick Born, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3).
“He was down 4-1 and 40-love in the third and he came back again against a guy who is 6-foot-10 and has a huge serve,” Hill said.
Then it all came down to Dzib, who hadn’t competed in singles for two weeks and found himself down, 5-2, in the third set against Dimitri Pippos. Dzib won five straight games to take the match, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, and give the Bulls their second consecutive win.
The Bulls wrap up their regular season with a match against UCF 11 a.m. Sunday in Orlando.
USF 4, No. 45 MTSU 3
Pramming/Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) def. Davis/Cornea (MTSU), 8-6
Acuna Gerard/Sabogal (USF) def. Born/Brand (MTSU), 8-6
Dzib/Patel (USF) def. Zito/Fox (MTSU), unfinished 4-6
Ben Davis (MTSU) def. Oliver Pramming (USF), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) def. Victor Cornea (MTSU), 6-4, 6-2
Ettore Zito (MTSU) def. Ravi Patel (USF), 7-6, 6-3
David Fox (MTSU) def. Federico Sabogal (USF), 6-4, 6-3
Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF) def. Yannick Born (MTSU), 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3)
Everth Dzib (USF) def. Dimitri Pippos (MTSU), 6-2, 4-6, 7-5