By Casey Goldstein
TAMPA— The USF men’s tennis team has a rare opportunity Tuesday morning to take both the singles and doubles USTA/ITA Southeastern Regional titles. Freshman Sasha Gozun will compete for the singles crown while veteran duo Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz will fight for the doubles title.
“A lot of their hard work and preparation showed this weekend,” assistant coach Brandon Wagner said. “I’m proud of their effort on and off the court, and I’m glad they have the opportunity to play for the singles and doubles tournament titles.”
Gozun’s trip to the finals was not an easy one. After defeating Jannis Koke of Georgia State, the Maldova native faced the toughest test of his young collegiate career in the University of Georgia’s top player, 19th-ranked Ben Waglan, who entered college ranked in the top-10 by the ITF. Gozun would defeat Wagland in straight sets as well as Kennesaw State’s Tobi Menhofer to advance to Monday’s quarterfinal round.
Gozun’s road didn’t get any easier, but he once again rose to the challenge beating two of the top players from in-state rival, Florida. After dropping the opening set, Gozun bounced back to take the next two in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Michael Alford. He would follow up with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(3) win over Maxx Lipman to secure his spot in Tuesday’s final.
“If Sasha continues to put in hard work in practice and in the weight room he will continue to have these types of opportunities,” Wagner said.
In the doubles bracket, fourth-seeded pair junior Oliver Pramming and sophomore Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz defeated Rakitt and Fiegel of Georgia Tech 8-5 in the semifinals to advance to Tuesday morning’s finale.
"I definitely expect a lot of great things this year from Oliver and Ignacio,” Wagner said. “They showed up this season with even better chemistry and unity.”
The Bulls’ top doubles pair in the spring of 2013, Pramming and Gonzalez-Muniz are looking to sustain that level of success.
“If they keep this up, they will continue to put themselves in the position to succeed and establish themselves as one of the tops doubles teams in the country,” Wagner said.
While there is still plenty to look forward to for the Bulls in Atlanta, USF has already earned one title on the weekend. Freshman duo Paul Polarczyk and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy earned the Doubles Consolation tournament title Monday with a win over Georgia Tech’s Carlos Benito and Casey Kay.
“Paul and Vadym are a new doubles pair, but they showed great charisma and energy playing in their first tournament together,” Wagner said. “They’ll keep getting better and better the more the play together.”
Gozun will face second-seeded Nathan Pasha from the University of Georgia Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Pramming and Gonzalez-Muniz will take the court at the same time when they’ll face Benjamin Lock and Marco Nunez of Florida State.
Head back to GoUSFBulls.com for complete results Tuesday afternoon.