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USF softball team headed to FSU, men's tennis headed home

USF softball coach Ken Eriksen leads his team into the NCAA Tournament's Tallahassee Regional this weekend.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

USF softball coach Ken Eriksen leads his team into the NCAA Tournament's Tallahassee Regional this weekend.

The USF softball team convened on its home field Sunday night to watch the NCAA Selection Show on its video scoreboard, only to be exposed to a rerun.

For the second time in three years, the Bulls softball team (44-14) will open postseason play against South Carolina (36-21) in the Tallahassee Regional. The teams square off Friday at noon.

FSU (48-8), the No. 8 overall national seed, meets FAMU (27-28) at 2:30. Two-time reigning national champ Florida is the No. 1 overall seed.

Behind then-ace Sara Nevins, the Bulls topped the Gamecocks twice in the 2014 regional before falling 2-1 to FSU in the final.

USF's remote chances of hosting a regional were seriously hindered two weekends ago, when they dropped two of three to UCF, which is headed to the Gainesville Regional. The aspirations formally were dashed Saturday, when the Bulls managed only four hits in a 4-0 loss at Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference tournament final.

USF will be making its 11th postseason trip in Coach Ken Eriksen's 20 seasons, and first since that 2014 trip to Tallahassee.

Elsewhere Sunday, senior Matthew O'Neal defied a tad more gravity, eclipsing his own school triple-jump record -- and the conference mark -- with a 54-foot, 11.5-inch effort on his last attempt at the AAC Outdoor Championships in Orlando.

O'Neal, who defeated runner-up Allen Bordley of East Carolina by nearly 4 feet, broke his prior school mark (54-10.75) by nearly an inch. The jump also was a UCF Track Complex record.

Senior Devin Screen was USF's only other individual conference champion, winning the men's discus Friday with a personal-best 187-foot throw.

In Gainesville, the men's tennis team (21-9) -- 17th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings -- fell 4-0 to No. 9 Florida in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gators (20-6) eked out the doubles point before capturing straight-set victories at No. 2, 5 and 6 singles.

Bulls senior No. 1 player Roberto Cid, whose match against 10th-ranked Diego Hidalgo was unfinished when the Gators clinched the team victory, moves on to the men's singles tournament in Tulsa later this month. Cid currently is second in the ITA men's singles rankings behind Ohio State's Mikael Torpegaard, who defeated him in straight sets in mid-March.

[Last modified: Sunday, May 15, 2016 10:37pm]

    

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