Bulls get big swings on banner day
Danny Willett wasn't the only dude in green enjoying a memorable Sunday. A few hours south -- and west -- of Augusta, a trio of USF teams swung pretty efficiently as well.
Highlighting the day from a Bulls perspective was fifth-ranked senior men's tennis star Roberto Cid.
Shortly after the 22nd-ranked Bulls clinched a 5-2 team triumph against No. 27 Tulane on the Green Wave's senior day, Cid (18-2) upset senior Dominik Koepfer, the nation's No. 1 player, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (6), 1-0 (3) in a third-set super tie-breaker to 10.
The defeat was Koepfer's first of the spring, halting a 21-match win streak.
"(Cid) was super sharp," said Bulls coach Matt Hill, among hundreds of observers hovering around the No. 1 court on a windy New Orleans afternoon. "It was obviously a really, really high-level match, one he's been looking forward to all week. There were a ton of momentum swings, especially early on."
The most profound swing, which easily could've broken Cid mentally, occurred late in the first set. Leading 6-5 with three set points, Cid watched Koepfer unleash a sequence of stunning defensive balls to rally and capture the set.
Cid then regrouped, prevailing in another tie-breaker in the second set before rolling to a 10-3 win in the super tie-breaker.
"I wouldn't say (Cid) squandered (the first set), I'd say Dominik took it," Hill said.
"I was telling Roberto he was doing all the right stuff...he just kind of stayed the course and was able to take him, and it was pretty windy here. To see that level being played in these conditions is really, really rare."
Earlier in the day, the No. 23 Bulls softball team (36-10, 8-1) continued its assault on American Athletic Conference opposition with a 1-0 triumph against Connecticut. Senior left-hander Erica Nunn provided the game-winning RBI with a two-out single in the sixth, and scattered one hit in three relief innings to pick up the win.
USF, 5-0 since having its school-record 23-game win streak snapped last weekend, has outscored its opponents 27-1 during that stretch.
Next door, the Bulls baseball team (16-16, 2-4) rallied for a 7-5 win against Memphis to salvage one triumph in the three-game series. Sophomore 2B Kevin Merrell put USF ahead for good with an RBI-single in the seventh, and freshman 3B David Villar (4-for-5, two RBI) added an insurance solo home run in the eighth.
Afterward, players, coaches and staffers had their heads shaved to raise awareness of -- and funds for -- childhood cancer.