A tale of two teams

Emily Maxfield (left) and Mya Bui (right) prep for the next opponent during the Battle of the Bay in September 2019. Dons Athletics/Flickr

James Salazar 

Staff Writer

The USF men’s tennis team took a trip to Arizona this past week, splitting a two-game road series with the University of Arizona Wildcats and the Grand Canyon University (GCU) Antelopes. 

In their first match of the road trip, the Dons faced the Wildcats on Jan. 31 at the Robson Tennis Center in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats struck first when Filip Malbasic and Nick Lagaev secured a 6-2 victory over Phuc Huynh and Johan Garpered. The Wildcats clinched the doubles point when Paul Giraud and Mitch Johnson fell to Carlos Hassey and Alejandro Reguant by a score of 6-2. 

With doubles action wrapped up, competition shifted to singles play. Ori Maior was the only Don to find himself in the win column after putting away Carlos Hassey (7-5, 6-2). 

The Dons dropped the rest of their five matches, ultimately losing to the Wildcats by a score of 6-1.

The Dons journeyed from Tucson to Phoenix for a Feb. 1 meeting against the GCU Antelopes. 

Things got off to a rocky start as Nitzan Ricklis and Maior dropped the first doubles match against Lorenzo Fucile and Can Franke (6-2). USF got on the board when Giraud and Johnson cranked out a win against Valentin Lang and Freddie Grant (7-6). The Dons ended up taking the doubles point as Huynh and Woodland survived a nailbiter against David Weber and Justin Cvitanovic (7-6). 

Ricklis took the first singles match when his opponent retired, but GCU took the following two matchups, leveling the game at two points apiece. 

Huynh downed Can Franke in three sets (6-1, 5-7, 6-2), Maior mounted a second-set comeback against Freddie Grant (2-6, 6-4, 6-2), and Giraud outlasted Valentin Lang (2-6, 6-4, 7-6), allowing the Dons to walk away with a 5-2 win. 

Over on the west coast, the USF women’s tennis team faced off against a Bay Area neighbor, the Sacramento State University Hornets. 

USF dropped the first match of the day as Paige Alter and Megan Tagaloa triumphed over Amber Del Rosario and Alicia Yue (6-4). The duo of Mya Bui and Emily Maxfield held off Jenna Dorian and Jayden Nielsen (6-3). USF nabbed the doubles point when Arianna Capogrosso and Chiho Mushika emerged victorious over Ege Tomey and Tsveti Yotova (6-3), putting the Dons up by a score of 1-0. 

Mushika secured the Dons’ first singles victory with an impressive 6-0, 6-4 victory over Yotova. Capogrosso increased their lead as she routed Tomey by a score of 6-2, 6-3. Yue fended off a Tagaloa comeback, winning by a score of 6-2, 7-6 (4). Bui continued the Dons’ winning streak with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over Dorian. 

GCU avoided a shutout as Alexa Meyer dropped a three-set battle against Alter (5-7, 6-4, 6-1). Maxfield outlasted Nielsen in an epic three-set showdown, securing a win to the tune of 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2). 

In the end, the Dons did not feel the Hornets’ sting as they left Sacramento with a commanding 6-1 victory.


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