Bulls Learning to Take the Next Step
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
Regardless of what happens, USF head coach Don Barr is intent on not shying away from top competition.
Wael Kilani and Lucas Marin-Salcedo teamed up for the Bulls' lone win in a 7-0 loss at No. 6 Florida on Tuesday afternoon. USF (1-7) has played five matches against teams ranked in the top 40 this spring, including tough losses to No. 2 Virginia, No. 16 Auburn and No. 35 Florida State.
"It's been a tough road of matches but we have to learn from those," Barr said. "The reason why we need to play them is to get to that level. We have to almost emulate what they're doing to us to step up our level. That's something I'm hoping our guys definitely have taken out of this match."
Kilani and Marin-Salcedo handed UF's Tripper Carleton and Spencer Newman an 8-4 loss. The Bulls nearly secured the doubles point, but Yannick Yoshizawa and Oliver Pramming came up just short in an 8-5 loss to Billy Federhofer and Nassim Slilam.
"It was a good sign there because we've been shuffling some doubles partners around," said Barr of the Kilani/Marin-Salcedo combo. "I think now we have two pretty concrete teams there. We just have to search to get that third team going, then we'll be a lot more situated with players in our lineup for sure."
Yoshizawa and Federico Sabogal both lost close singles matches by three points or less in each set while Acuna Gerard forced UF's Florent Diep to 7 in the opener of a two-set defeat.
"We're trying to get to a point where you can't just count on your opponent missing," Barr said. "You have to create the time to actually win the point. We're still not taking charge of our matches like we really need to. It's something we definitely need to learn by. We need to go to that next step."
The Bulls get a chance to apply what they've learned from the Gator experience 3 p.m. Monday when they host Memphis at the USF Varsity Courts. Admission is free for fans.
Match Results: Florida 7, USF 0
Billy Federhofer/Nassim Slilam (UF) def. Yannick Yoshizawa/Oliver Pramming, 8-5
Wael Kilani/Lucas Marin-Salcedo (USF) def. Tripper Carleton/Spencer Newman, 8-4
Andrew Butz/Bob van Overbeek (UF) def. Ravi Patel/Federico Sabogal, 8-3
Van Overbeek (UF) def. Yoshizawa, 6-4, 6-3
Carleton (UF) def. Kilani, 6-1, 6-2 (still in progress when UF clinched the win)
Florent Diep (UF) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard, 7-5, 6-2
Newman (UF) def. Sabogal, 6-3, 6-4
Federhofer (UF) def. Marin-Salcedo, 6-1, 6-2
Butz (UF) def. Patel, 6-1, 6-2