By BRITTANY WEINER
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
TAMPA - After a hard-fought battle and a series of rain delays, the USF men's tennis team took second place at the Big East Championship in front of a loud Bulls crowd on Sunday.
The fourth-seeded Bulls suffered a 4-2 loss to second-seed Louisville at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts but head coach Don Barr was still smiling after their memorable run ended.
"I'm real proud of them because that was a very grueling tournament that we've had, probably one of the longest that I've been involved in 20 years here. I'm very proud of everyone," Barr said.
USF pulled off the doubles point after a short rain delay paused the clinching match. Partners Guillermo De Vilchez and Lucas Marin-Salcedo defeated their opponents 8-6, while Yannick Yoshizawa and Oliver Pramming won 9-8 (7-4). Juan Carlos Acuna got the win in singles play.
"They've come a long way. We struggled earlier in the year," Barr said. "They really put the program together. It was an unbelievable battle."
Before getting to the finals, the Bulls defeated DePaul, 4-0, in their first match of the tournament and upset first-seeded Notre Dame, 4-3, in the semifinals.
"We are getting respect and that's all we want is to show that we're a fighting team, never give up and put it on the line. I'm so proud of the guys," said Barr.
This was the third time USF has played for the Big East Championship title since joining the conference in 2006.
"They've learned so much through all the hardship at times and all the struggles and they've learned to channel in the right direction," said Barr. "Not put winning above everything, but improving from day to day and just put it on the line and see how much they can improve. That's what they did and I think they know how to get better now and that's the key."
Louisville 4, USF 2
- Andrew Carter (UofL) vs. Wael Kilani (USF) 2-6, 6-4, 2-1 DNF
- Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (UofL) def. Yannick Yoshizawa (USF) 6-2, 6-1
- Albert Wagner (UofL) def. Federico Sabogal (USF) 6-2, 6-1
- Michael Lippens (UofL) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF) 6-4, 6-3
- Robert Hall (UofL) def. Ravi Patel (USF) 6-3, 6-4*
- Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Luis Elizondo (UofL) 6-1 6-3
- Yannick Yoshizawa/Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Andrew Carter/Albert Wagner (UofL) 9-8 (3)
- Sebastian Stiefelmeyer/Robert Hall (UofL) def. Wael Kilani/Federico Sabogal (USF) 9-7
- Lucas Marin-Salcedo/Guillermo de Vilchez (USF) def. Adam Donaldson/Michael Lippens (UofL) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 6, 4, 5*