By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - USF almost completed a colossal comeback over a ranked opponent Monday evening.
The Bulls made up for a big deficit early with solid singles play and forced a decisive match before coming up short against No. 32 Memphis, 4-3, after nearly 5 hours at the USF Varsity Courts.
"We gave it a good fight," head coach Don Barr said. "Once we can get everyone on that same page of not being afraid to win or lose and put it on the line, then we'll have a pretty good team. They have to make that commitment about being ready to go after these ranked guys."
The Bulls dropped the doubles point and won three singles matches to make the Tigers sweat out the final match between David O'Hare and Yannick Yoshizawa.
O'Hare gave Memphis the first set, but Yoshizawa stormed back to take the second, 7-6 (5). Yoshizawa was leaded by two points early before O'Hare eventually came back to seal the victory for Memphis in the third.
Two heroic singles efforts came from USF's Federico Sabogal and Ravi Patel.
Sabogal defeated David O'Leary in three sets in arguably the longest match of the day. Sabogal won the first set, 6-3, dropped the second and proved his endurance is better than O'Leary's in a 6-3 third set.
Patel's match was won in part to forcing his opponent to self-destruct. Patel took the first set, 6-4, and erased a 5-0 deficit in the second to win by a 7-5 margin over Leon Nasemann.
USF will look to start off in a hotter fashion 2 p.m. Thursday against the University of Pennsylvania back at the USF Varsity Courts.
Memphis 4, USF 3
David O'Hare/Joe Salisbury (MEM) def. Yannick Yoshizawa/Oliver Pramming, 8-7 (6)
David Henry/Connor Glennon (MEM) def. Wale Kilani/Lucas Marin-Salcedo, 8-1
Leon Nasmann/Johnny Grimal (MEM) def. Ravi Patel/Sebastian Hagn, 8-1
O'Hare (MEM) def. Yoshizawa, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4
Kilani (USF) def. Salisbury, 6-2, 6-4
Grimal (MEM) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard, 7-5, 6-0
Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Glennon, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
David O'Leary (MEM) def. Marin-Salcedo, 6-3, 6-0
Patel (USF) def. Leon Nasemann, 6-4, 7-5