Story by FAMU sports information intern Ma’Isha Thompson
TAMPA, FL (Feb.17) – On a cold and windy day, the Rattlers were defeated by the nationally-ranked #55 USF Bulls. The Rattlers (2-6, 0-0 MEAC) fought hard but lost to the Bulls 4-3.
The Rattlers started the day by taking the doubles point. No.1 doubles partners Salif Kante and Takura Happy got off the court first as they defeated doubles partners and #47 nationally-ranked Oliver Pramming and Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz.
No. 2 doubles partners Zach Evenden and Temuera Asafu-Adjaye won against USF's Ravi Patel and Guillermo De Vilchez, thus securing the doubles point for FAMU. No. 3 doubles team of Chidi Gabriel and Admire Mushonga were at tied 7-7 against Everth Dzib and Juan Carlos Acuna Gerrard when the match was suspended because of the Rattlers winning the doubles point.
"We played very well in doubles today taking balls early and returning well. It was a tricky match with the wind but they overcame the wind and the crowd to win that doubles point. I just wished they followed through in singles, but we will bounce back tomorrow" said assistant coach Levan Clark.
In singles play, the Bulls quickly tied the game at 1-1 after No.5 Takura Happy lost to Guillermo De Vilchez 6-0, 6-0. Then, No.5 Temuera Asafu-Adjaye lost to Everth Dzib giving a 2-1 lead to the Bulls. 2012 All-MEAC team member Chidi Gabriel would tie the game at 2-2 after winning (6-3, 6-2) against Ignacio Gonzalez-Muniz at No. 2 slot.
At the No.1 slot, Salif Kante lost to Oliver Pramming 6-4 7-5 giving a 3-2 lead to the Bulls."I take the loss today and it was my fault. The team played very well," said Kante.
The Bulls would clinch the match after USF Ravi Patel defeated Admire Mushonga 6-1 6-4 at No.4.
Zach Evenden defeated Juan Carlos Acuna Gerrard (6-4, 6-3) at the No.3 slot after the match was decided 4-3. "I played a very good match today, and took my chances well. I am very happy to bring a win for the team. As a team, I feel that we fought hard but came up just short. We started off very positive and that's something we need to build on" said Evenden.
FAMU will return to action tomorrow as they face Stetson University in Deland, Fla. at 2 p.m.