By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA, APRIL 19, 2014 – No. 26 USF men’s tennis is one win away from capturing the American Athletic Conference Championship crown after defeating third-seeded Louisville, 4-1, in Saturday’s semifinals at The Racquet Club of Memphis.
Second-seeded USF (17-6) will face off against top seed and host Memphis on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). The No. 21 Tigers (14-4) got to the title match by defeating fifth-seeded SMU, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon.
“We knew Louisville was a very good team and we couldn’t overlook them,” head coach Matt Hill said. “We’re excited to be there and it’s going to be a fun battle tomorrow.”
The Bulls set the tone for the victory by clinching the doubles point in impressive fashion. Junior Oliver Pramming and sophomore Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz cruised past Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Jeffrey Brown, 8-2, before sophomore Roberto Cid and freshman Sasha Gozun toughed out an 8-7 (5) victory over Albert Wagner and Chris Simich in the top doubles spot.
“The guys did a really good job today," Hill said. "They competed hard and they played smart, and when you do those two things we’re going to be successful that’s for sure."
USF secured its trip to the championship match by getting straight set wins in singles play. Cid handled the pressure of playing in the No. 1 spot well by defeating Stiefelmeyer, 6-0, 6-4. Gozun continued his solid first season as a Bull by handling Alex Gornet, 6-1, 6-3, in the No. 3 position.
“Sasha really stood out today,” Hill said. “He’s looked really, really good yesterday and today. He’s really peaking at the right time and we’ve talked to the guys about that all year.”
Gonzalez-Muniz showed his composure at a crucial point of the match by holding off Michael Lippens, 6-4, 7-5, in the No. 5 singles spot to clinch the victory.
No. 2 USF 4, No. 3 Louisville 1
April 19, 2014
Memphis, Tenn., 11 a.m.
1. No. 41 Roberto Cid/Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Albert Wagner/Chris Simich (LOU) 8-7 (5)
2. No. 81 Oliver Pramming/Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) def. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer/Jeffrey
Brown (LOU) 8-2
3. Alex Gornet/Sasha Gozun (LOU) led Vadym Kaluzhnyy/Finn Meinecki (USF) 6-4, did not
Order of Finish: 2, 1
1. No. 43 Roberto Cid (USF) def. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (LOU) 6-0, 6-4
2. Oliver Pramming (USF) led Albert Wagner (LOU) 6-4, 6-6, did not finish
3. Sasha Gozun (USF) def. Alex Gornet (LOU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Chris Simich (LOU) def. Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF) 6-3, 6-1
5. Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz (USF) def. Michael Lippens (LOU) 6-4, 7-5
6. Federico Sabogal (USF) led Van Damrongsri (LOU) 6-4, 5-5, did not finish
Order of Finish: 4, 1, 3, 5
Match Duration: 3:05