USF women's tennis falls in Big East final
TAMPA -- For the fifth time in eight years, USF's women's tennis team had to settle for second place in the Big East championships, falling for the fifth time to Notre Dame by a 4-1 score at USF's Varsity Courts.
The Bulls had hoped to exit the Big East with a win against a Fighting Irish squad they've beaten only twice in nine seasons in the Big East. With most Bulls players losing their first sets in singles, the Bulls looked to rally, forcing third sets in key matches, but in a span of five minutes, Notre Dame clinched three singles match to lock up a 4-1 victory, with two matches being suspended after the tournament was clinched.
"We had opportunities in a couple courts and it looked like the momentum was changing to our side," coach Agustin Moreno said. "We just didn't come up with the plays. Against a team like Notre Dame, in order to win, you have to compete in those tough moments. ... I am proud. But this is eight years I've been here and I've only won once (in 2007). Most of the time has been second place. This was the last time of the Big East, the real Big East, whatever they want to call it. We wanted to win it so bad, and it just didn't go like we wanted."
Senior Katie Vasenina, playing No. 1 singles, saw two sets slip away at the end, losing the opening set in a 9-7 tiebreaker after missing on set point, then going from a 30-15 score serving for the second set at 5-4 to dropping the match's final three games for a 7-5 loss.
If you go by top-two finishes, USF women's tennis has perhaps the school's best success in the Big East era, but coach Agustin Moreno said his team had aspired to more, wanting to leave the conference with a league title.