The University of Memphis men’s tennis team (11-13, 2-4 AAC) ends the season on a low note after suffering two losses against top-50 ranked opponents University of South Florida Bulls and University of Central Florida Knights.
The UofM men’s team started the road trip against last Friday against USF looking to end the regular season on a higher note, but USF’s No. 17 player Alberto Barroso-Campos led the Bulls to a 4-2 win. At Monday’s matchup, UCF were fresh-off a 4-0 win in the War on I-4 matchup against USF the day before and swept Memphis 4-0 as well in the season finale.
Early momentum failed to carry Memphis versus USF
The Tigers came out of the gate swinging in doubles action against the Bulls in a ranked matchup with Memphis’ No. 60 Oscar Cutting/David Stevenson and USF’s No. 67 Pierre Luquet/Barroso-Campos. The Memphis duo were able to control the match and win 6-2 at the top spot. It was their fourth win against a ranked opponent, and they have played 23 matches together, all at the No. 1 position. On Court 3, Matt Story/Marshall Sullivan were neck and neck against Chase Ferguson/Sergio Gomez Montesa with a 5-5 tie while Jan Pallares/Patrick Sydow earned a 6-4 win on court 2 to gain the opening point for the Tigers.
The Bulls fought back in singles play with a win on court 2, but David Stevenson regained the lead for Memphis after winning 6-4, 6-4 against Ivan Yatsuk on Court 5. This would be Memphis’ last singles match win of the regular season. USF went on to take three straight matches to claim the 4-2 win, but it wasn’t a cakewalk. Gomez Montesa and Barroso Campos needed tiebreaks in their first sets to fend off Sydow and Chris Patzanovsky, and Story’s comeback fell short after Luquet’s 7-5 second set tiebreak win for the clinch.
Tigers lose last regular season game
Doubles action was a nail-biter, but UCF barely won the opening point after two tiebreak wins by a score of 7-5, and the final score of the match left unfinished was 5-6. UCF’s No. 24 duo Trey Hilderbrand/Bogdan Pavel got the upper hand versus Cutting/Stevenson with one of the 7-5 wins in the ranked matchup.
Momentum propelled the Knights into singles action with three straight wins to get the sweep. UCF earned wins on Courts 3, 6 and 5 against the trio of Memphis freshmen of Taylor, Stevenson and Cutting. Before the game clinch, Patzanovsky battled back after losing the first set 2-6 against No. 32 Gabriel Decamps, and he tied the match after a 6-3 win in the second set. The match was left unfinished 1-2 in favor of Decamps after the decision was final.
Up next: The American Athletic Conference Championships
After a strong start in the year in which the Tigers had an 8-1 record, they finished with a 11-13 record, with only three wins in their last 15 games. One thing the young Memphis team should keep in mind is every team will start with a 0-0 record in the American Championships. They will go head-to-head in an early bird matchup against USF in the first round. Play begins at 8 a.m. at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.