Men’s and women’s tennis compete in back-to-back games

James Salazar 

Staff Writer 

Paul Giraud, who clinched the Dons’ win against the Pilots, competes at the 2019 Battle in the Bay Classic. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS M. LEUNG/DONS ATHLETICS

Men’s tennis

USF men’s tennis battled two opponents in an April 9 showdown at San Francisco’s California Tennis Club — the University of Portland Pilots were one opponent while the more than 20 mile-per-hour winds that blew throughout the matches were the other. 

Doubles action got underway with the duo of Johan Garpered and Nitzan Ricklis, who claimed an easy victory with a score of 6-1. However, the Dons dropped the next two doubles contests and the Pilots clinched the doubles point to give themselves an early lead.  

Sophomore Ori Maior was the lone Don to fall in singles action, as he lost the opening contest by a score of 1-6, 2-6. This two-point deficit was easily brushed off by USF, though, and the Dons responded to their opposition by winning the next four singles games. 

Ricklis and Phuc Huynh tied the match at 2-2 by posting straight-set victories respectively, and Mitch Johnson put the Dons in front with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. Paul Giraud won two tiebreakers in a nail-biting contest (7-6, 7-6), securing a 4-2 victory for the Dons.

The Dons commemorated Senior Day April 10 with a sweep of the Gonzaga University Bulldogs, winning the contest by a decisive score of 4-0. USF earned the doubles point to open the day’s proceedings thanks to a 6-4 victory from Stevie Gould and Huynh.

Giraud pushed the scoreline to 3-0, and he won his last home match as a Don in straight sets (6-2, 6-4). Ricklis dispatched his opponent to the tune of 6-3, 6-4 and completed the Dons’ weekend sweep. Looking ahead, USF men’s tennis begins a three-game road trip with an April 15 match against the University of Utah Utes. 

Women’s tennis

Unlike the men’s team, USF women’s tennis was protected from nature’s elements when they took on the Pilots within the confines of the indoor LP Tennis Center in Portland, winning their April 9 contest by a score of 6-1.

The doubles duo of Rita Colyer and Arianna Capogrosso gave the Dons their first victory of the day with a 6-3 win. Chiho Mushika and Maria Martinez Vaquero rallied from behind to clinch the doubles point for the Dons with a 6-4 victory. 

Mushika carried her doubles momentum into the singles portion of the match as she won the Don’s opening contest in straight sets (6-1, 6-1). USF’s only loss of the day came when Mya Bui was swept in straight sets (1-6, 1-6). The Dons won their remaining contests, and Colyer put the game on ice with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. 

The Dons could not sustain their momentum as they dropped their April 10 game against the Gonzaga University Bulldogs by a score of 1-4. 

USF lost their first doubles contest, but Mushika and Martinez Vaquero kept the Dons’ hopes alive with a 6-4 victory. Colyer and Capogrosso lost a tie-breaking match that came down to the wire (6-7), and the doubles point put the Bulldogs on the board. 

The Dons were swept in two straight games before Martinez Vaquero claimed USF’s first win of the day in singles action (6-2, 6-4), making the overall score 1-3. USF’s potential comeback was quickly squashed, however, and the Bulldogs won the following match against Mushika (4-6, 2-6) to add another tally to the Dons’ loss column. 

USF women’s tennis will return home April 16 to take on the University of San Diego Toreros at the Olympic Club. 

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