March 15, 2011
AUBURN - The No. 26 Auburn Tigers will travel to the Sunshine State on Wednesday as it takes on South Florida. The match is set for 11 a.m. CT, at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.
"They have beaten Florida State in Tampa and are an extremely tough team down there," said Auburn head coach Eric Shore. "They have always been a really tough match for us. We are going to have to figure out a way to get back emotionally. "
Wednesday will be the 23rd meeting between the two teams with the Tigers holding a 17-5 advantage over the Bulls.
South Florida is 8-3 on the year and is currently on a three-match winning streak after defeating Penn State 4-3, St. John's 5-2, and Iowa 7-0. The Bulls started the year out 2-0 after defeating Florida A&M and Florida Gulf Coast, 7-0.
USF suffered its first loss of the year at the hands of Florida Atlantic, 4-3. The Bulls bounced back with victories over South Alabama and Tulane, before losing to Miami. South Florida is led by senior Lucas Jovita. The Brasilia, Brazil native is 7-3 on the year including a win over No. 21 Vahid Mirzadeh of Penn State.
Auburn earned its first Southeastern Conference victory of the year last Friday against South Carolina, 6-1. The Tigers won all three doubles matches and kept the pressure on the Gamecocks in singles, winning three match-set tiebreakers.
On Sunday, the Tigers fell to No. 15 Florida, 4-3. Auburn won the doubles point, but was overmatched in singles. The Tigers received wins from junior Alex Stamchev, who defeated No. 125 Nassim Slilam, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, and freshman Rafael Rondino, who defeated Billy Federhofer, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2).
Following the USF match, the Tigers will return to action with a meeting at Vanderbilt on Sunday in Nashville. Auburn will return home next Sunday for a matchup with Kentucky at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.