Dons face early exits at regionals

Sophomore Phuc Huynh (above) squares off at the Battle of the Bay on Sept. 20. DONS ATHLETICS/FLICKR

The USF men’s tennis team recently journeyed 30 miles south of San Francisco to test their skills at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Men’s Northwest Regionals. The tournament was held from Oct. 25-29 at Stanford University’s Taube Tennis Center, and featured 128 singles players and 32 doubles teams. 

Prior to the tournament, head coach Pablo Pires de Almeida provided a statement in a Dons press release. “This year, I’d like to see one of my players make it into the quarterfinals,” he said. “We are hungry for some wins.”  

As the tournament got underway, sophomore Phuc Huynh was the lone Don to clinch a spot in the field of 128. His campaign kicked off with a match against Wout Doumen of the Eastern Washington University Eagles. Though both men played a close first set, Huynh settled into a groove, and he emerged victorious over Doumen with a score of 7-5, 6-1. 

Though both men played a close first set, Huynh settled into a groove, and he emerged victorious over Doumen with a score of 7-5, 6-1.

In the round of 64, Huynh faced Semen Panken of the University of Portland Pilots. He routed Panken in the first set, but dropped a hard-fought second set. Huynh could not muster a comeback, and he was eliminated by Panken (2-6, 7-5, 6-2).  

Over in the championship doubles draw, two USF duos hit the courts for action. 

In a first-round matchup, Huynh and freshman Johan Garpered faced Neel Rajesh and Timothy Sah from the hosts — Stanford University Cardinal. The match came down to the wire as Huynh and Garpered pushed their opponents to a match-deciding tiebreak. In the end, the Cardinal were too much to overcome, and Huynh and Garpered were eliminated by a score of 8-7(1).

Deeper into the draw, sophomores Mitchell Johnson and David Woodland battled Anton De La Puente and Carlos Rodriguez of the Sacramento State University Hornets. Johnson and Woodland trampled their opponents, 8-3, subsequently punching their ticket to the second round. 

In the round of 32, Johnson and Woodland squared off against the team of Angus Bradshaw and Johannes Seeman of the Fresno State University Bulldogs. The Bulldogs created space between themselves and their opponents, handing Bradshaw and Seeman an 8-5 loss.

Looking ahead, the Dons will regroup and travel to Stockton, California where they will compete in the Pacific Invitational from Nov. 1-3.


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