By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – A roster full of young players isn’t stopping the USF men’s tennis team from excelling on the court this fall.
Freshman Vadym Kalyuzhnny and Sasha Gozun, and junior Oliver Pramming have advanced to the third round of qualifying at the Bluewater Bay Pro Circuit Championships in Niceville, Fla. All three Bulls are competing in Monday’s third round with a chance to make it to the championship portion of qualifying.
“It’s no secret from the coaching staff’s perspective about why we have so much belief in this team,” head coach Matt Hill said. “You have guys that are young and holding their own against players from top-ranked teams.”
Kalyuzhnyy, from Donetsk, Ukraine, started qualifying with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over David Sarkisov and made a name for himself in the second round by cruising past Ole Miss’ Johan Backstrom, 6-0, 6-4. Backstrom is a four-year starter for an Ole Miss squad that’s been in the top 10 nationally the past four seasons.
“He’s 17 years old and he’s been here for two months. That’s a good effort,” Hill said.
Gozun, seeded ninth, had a first-round bye and rallied past Dominik Koepfer, the No. 1 player from Tulane, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the pro event that does not allow coaches to guide their players on the court.
Pramming earned a straight-set win in the first round and booked a trip to the third round by handling Ole Miss’ Vinod Gowda, 6-3, 6-4.
Head back to GoUSFBulls.com on Monday evening to check USF's progress in the final team event of the fall.
Qualifying Round 1
Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. David Sarkisov, 6-4, 6-4
Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Keith Whittingham, 6-2, 6-0
Paul Polarczyk (USF) def. Victor Ravier, 6-0, 6-1
Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Daniel Burgess, 6-0, 6-2
Qualifying Round 2
Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Dominik Koepfer, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Kalyuzhnyy (USF) def. Johan Backstrom, 6-0, 6-4
Trey Yates def. Sabogal (USF), 6-2, 6-0
Joel Vincent Link def. Polarczyk (USF), 7-6 (4), 6-2
Pramming (USF) def. Vinod Gowda, 6-3, 6-4
Qualifying Round 3 (Monday)
Gozun vs. Henrik Wiersholm
Pramming vs. Daniil Proskura